Following her fourth place finish on the opening day of the Trek CXC Cup, Meredith Miller had her sights set on making the podium on day two. While she fell short, Miller put in a big effort in the final lap to challenge for the podium.
“I was definitely disappointed not to get on the podium yesterday,” said Miller. “I was hoping to change that today. I got out on the course before my race and rode a few laps with Allen. We worked on the cornering aspects that I struggled with yesterday.”
Miller staged for the elite women’s race with a bolstered sense of confidence. She also set a very specific non-result oriented objective for herself.
“One of my goals today was to do something different and push the boundaries of my comfort zone a little bit,” explained Miller. “That might mean I would attack even if I wasn’t completely confident in my ability to get away or I would stay on the front through the sections were I’m not as strong compared to the others riders in my group or just take a risk that I normally wouldn’t take.”
“As it turned out, I never was really in a position to do that,” she added. “I didn’t have a fantastic start. I was fine getting off the line but fell into seventh or eighth wheel fairly early. “
The race was chaotic at the start as riders fought for prime position heading into the steep descent and even steeper climb that punctuates the first part of the course. Katie Compton (Trek Factory Racing) and Caroline Mani (Raleigh-Clement) slipped off the front by mid-lap on lap one. Shortly thereafter, Gould opened her gap. Gabby Durrin (Neon Velo) and Miller settled into a two-rider chase in pursuit of the podium.
“I had been running the hill during the first four laps, and I decided to ride it on lap five,” explained Miller. “That’s where I finally opened a little gap on Gabby. It was a big enough gap that she was never quite able to close it.
“There were a couple times I started to close the gap to Georgia,” added Miller. “As soon as I made gains, she’d open it up again. In the end we all soloed in for our spots – Katie in first, Caroline in second, Georgia in third, me in fourth and Gabby in fifth.”
While Miller understands there are plenty of opportunities to podium in her near future, she had hoped to get more from herself at the Trek CXC Cup. She admits that she’s disappointed. She adds that she’s already looking ahead to her next chance to shine.
“I’m not incredibly pleased with the weekend,” Miller admitted. “Two fourths. It’s a hard place to finish. While fourth is nothing to be ashamed about, I always want to finish on the podium at domestic races – and after winning CrossVegas, I have even bigger expectations of myself.”
“I am disappointed, but it’s important for me to remember that the fitness is there and that this course is a hard one for me for some reason,” added Miller. “I would like to think I’m good at everything and that I never come out riding less than my best, but everyone has an off day or days. It’s still early in the season. We have a big block of racing coming up out east. I can’t let this get me down.”