Meredith Miller (California Giant-Specialized) is strategically turning her attention from professional road racing to world-class cyclo-cross. The former US road national champion will expand her off-road endeavors with a specific goal of landing a podium place at the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Lousiville, Kentucky.
"It's a work in progress." Miller told Cyclingnews. "Right now I want to get as much experience as I can and learn as much as I can because worlds is really is not that far away. Hopefully I can get over to Europe more because I needed to learn the courses over there and get to know the competition. Even though 2013 is here in the US, I think they will design a course that is similar to the ones in Europe, which are a lot different. I want to start upping the ante."
Miller was the highest placed American female at the world championships held in Tabor, Czech Republic last February. Her 12th place capped off a successful sophomore ‘cross season where she took podiums at several well-attended UCI races in the US including a second place at the final round of the US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross in Portland.
This year, she has taken the reins in the early season 'cross races with a victory at the Grand Prix of Gloucester round two and double wins at the Providence Cyclocross Festival along with several other podium performances.
"Now that I have tasted the podium I would like to keep myself consistently up in the top three," Miller said. "I will hopefully get over to Europe in November for a World Cup. I'd like to stay on top of getting points so that I have a good start for nationals. I would really like to get back to Worlds again this year."
When asked if a podium performance is possible for this year's UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships held in St-Wendel, Germany in January, Miller said, "I don't know that that is realistic, yet. But my goal is 2013 when we are in Louisville and that is when I hope to get close to the podium there."
Miller is a seasoned professional road racer and recently renewed her contract with the US-based TIBCO squad for the 2011. Road racing will continue to be a large part of her program for next year. However, in the near future she is hoping to scale down her competitive road career in order to focus more on cyclo-cross.
"I will be able to start road a little later and end a little sooner," Miller said. "They know that 'cross is becoming a goal for me and they are willing to work around it. Road is still a big part of my schedule this year but we will see after that. I don't know yet. We will have to see what happens for 2012. As 'cross becomes more and more important and we get closer to 2013, I will have to be more careful about not over doing it with racing 12 months out of the year."