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."
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.