The Voices of the 2019 Colorado Classic: Meet Meredith Miller
- By Anne-Marije Rook
Last month we revealed our talented team of announcers for the upcoming 2019 Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation: Brad Sohner and Meredith Miller will be entrusted with the commentating of the live streaming, while Dave Towle and Janel Holcomb will host the on-stage announcing at the event. We couldn’t think of a more qualified crew to bring the action and excitement of our game-changing four-day event to you, and so, as we get closer to the start line, we’d like to introduce, one-by-one, to the voices of the 2019 Colorado Classic.
First up, please meet Meredith Miller
“For Colorado to step up and say we want to showcase women's racing, I think is very noble. And being a resident of Colorado, it's definitely exciting for me to know that we, that this state, are taking a stand and willing to put the time and effort and budget into women's racing.
- Meredith Miller, former national road racing champion, and announcer for the 2019 Colorado Classic
We are thrilled to welcome Meredith Miller back to the Colorado Classic. The retired pro racer last appeared on the starting line of the event — then still known as the USA Pro Challenge — in 2015, and will bring her wealth of bike racing experience and local knowledge to the commentator’s booth.
Miller raced for almost two decades, competing in road racing, cyclocross and even some mountain biking. She signed her first pro contract as a domestique on the road in 2002 and spent several years racing in Europe, competing in top level races like the Tour of Flanders, Fleche Wallone, the Giro d'Italia Femminile and, the women’s version of the Tour de France, La Grande Boucle Feminine Internationale.
Miller started racing cyclocross in 2008 and quickly saw success, earning a silver medal at the 2009 national championships, which earned her a trip to the 2010 World Cyclocross Championship. This would be the first of five consecutive call-ups to represent the US at Cyclocross Worlds.
After splitting her time between cyclocross and road, Miller decided to make her 2013 road season her last, prioritizing cyclocross instead. Her biggest win in cyclocross came perhaps in 2014, when she won the prestigious CrossVegas Elite Women’s race in a star-packed field.
Miller retired from professional cyclocross at the end of the 2015-16 season, but continues to be a regular whenever knobby tires hit the dirt. She’s the RCC Coordinator at Rapha Boulder, a frequent commentator at cyclocross races, joined Team USA as a coach at the 2019 Cyclocross World Championships in Denmark, and even jumps in to the racing herself from time to time , notably participating in various prestigious gravel racing events and taking the top honors at the 2018 Single Speed Cyclocross National Championships in Reno.
- Tell us about your reaction when you first heard that the Colorado Classic would continue as a standalone women's race?
Meredith Miller: I think that all of us following the Colorado Classic these last couple of years in its various formats, noticed that the prestige of the event had been dipping a little bit. And despite them trying really hard to make it an event that was more inclusive, and spectator-oriented — especially for those who hadn't really been exposed to bike racing before with expos and concerts —I don't think that happened very well, and so many people were expecting that the race probably wouldn't continue. So when announced that the event would continue as a women's-only race, it was very exciting news. It says a lot that [the race organizers] are willing to continue to try and even grow their race into a premier event.
I was fortunate enough to race here, when it was [still know as] the US Pro Challenge. That year, the races went through Fort Collins, and I used to live there so being able to race on my hometown roads was a really cool part of that race.
I'm really happy that the race has stuck around and wants to highlight women's racing in general and make it such a premier event.
- With races like the US Pro Challenge and the Coors Classic, Colorado has a pretty rich history for racing and for women's racing especially. Do you as a Colorado resident, take pride in that?
Meredith: Oh definitely! For Colorado to step up and say we want to showcase women's racing, I think this is very noble. And being a resident of Colorado, it's definitely exciting for me to know that we, that this state, are taking a stand and willing to put the time and effort and budget into women's racing.
- In your opinion, what makes Colorado such a great riding destination and backdrop for a race like this?
Meredith: Well, I mean, I think it's hard to beat racing in an area where you have the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop! The scenery, the views that's one thing, but the riding..when you're cruising through the canyons, it's the kind of thing you see in pictures or magazines!
So to be able to go out and race in some of these areas makes it even more special. We have some of the best riding in the country as far as diversity of terrain and accessibility. We can spend days and days and days riding without ever doing the same thing twice.
Plus it's tough. The hills but also the altitude is something that does scare a lot of people. Those who live at altitude certainly have an advantage in this race, but that's just another element of the bike race that I think elevates the level of the racing you going to see here.
- We’re excited to have you back with us as a former racer and now voice of the 2019 Colorado Classic
Meredith: I'm super excited, and I really hope that the whole front range comes out in force to support these races. When I was racing or as at the US Pro Challenge, it was really cool to see how many people were coming out to cheer for the women specifically, so I hope that that trend will continue, and that excitement and enthusiasm around the women's racing will only grow.
The Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation is the only women’s standalone pro road race in the Western hemisphere. Nearly 100 of the world’s best racers from 16 teams will compete in the four-stage race from August 22 through 25.
The four-day stage race will traverse Colorado’s challenging and iconic mountain and urban terrain, starting in Steamboat Springs, moving to Avon, then Golden and finishing in Denver.
The race has earned the prestigious 2.1 classification by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and is on USA Cycling’s Pro Road Tour.
More than a race, the Colorado Classic is a movement empowering women of all ages and abilities to transform their lives and the world through sports. The race is advancing women’s pro cycling with harder, longer routes; unprecedented financial support; and daily live TV streaming coverage that puts women’s racing on a global stage.
Live-streaming will be made available world-wide on various websites, social media platforms and mobile apps for FREE. Plus, on-demand replays will be available as well.
Of course, these viewing numbers will be counted and serve a crucial role in the event’s continuation, attracting sponsorships, athletes’ individual careers, teams and the sport in a whole.