In high school in Orange County, Calif., Amber competed in soccer, track, and cross country, but she suffered from frequent stress fractures. Later, she attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln on a track and field scholarship, but the stress fractures eventually sidelined her from active competition. She began serious cycling while she was studying for a PhD in molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry at the University of California in Irvine. After a top-10 finish in the collegiate national championships, Amber decided to cut her doctoral studies short — taking a master’s degree in biology instead — and enter professional cycling.Amber has won major races all over the world riding with some of the most successful women's cycling teams in the world. Her husband, Jason Neben, is an assistant professor of education at Concordia University Irvine.
In order to be named to the Academic All-Star class athletes must compete at one of the USA Cycling National Championships and have a term GPA of at least 3.5.