Squamish's Miranda Miller is on a bit of a roll this year. She followed up a top-10 result in the Sea Otter Classic with a win at the NW Cup opener in Port Angeles, edging out Jill Kintner, then placed second in the next NW Cup race. Two weeks ago she went on to win the Canada Cup opener at Mont Tremblant. Last weekend she raced the NimbyFifty — she's not averse to going up hills on occasion — but had a crash on the separately timed downhill section.
Miller is on a break after deciding to miss the next few World Cup events in Europe and stick around Squamish. Her next big race is the Canada Cup at Sun Peaks at the end of June, after which point she'll be racing at least every second week through the end of the summer.
The 23-year-old is grateful for all the help she's been getting from her sponsors, including Corsa Cycles — the bike shop that gives her the leeway to train and race in between shifts — and Shaun Greenaway, a former motocross star and avid mountain biker who has used a long recovery time from injury to work on his business selling real estate. He's sponsoring Miller through an incentive program where she can earn money for results.
"It was a unique way of showing some support for Miranda and getting some exposure, and maybe giving her some extra incentive as well," said Greenaway.
Miller said it has been motivating to have the additional sponsorship, although she tries not to think of the money side of racing while training and racing. "At the races it's not really what I'm thinking about, it's all about the riding, but it's also been good motivation in a low pressure way," she said.
Miller's goal this season is to place first on the Canada Cup circuit and win a national title.
"I'd like to finally win the Canada Cup overall," she said.
"I've always led it the first couple of races and then lost it at the last race. I'd like to win it this time and the nationals, and I do plan on qualifying for the national team — although I don't think I'll be attending the world championships because they're in South Africa this year, and it's a hefty bill for that one race. I'd rather save the money and race the last World Cup events (including events in Andorra, Quebec, Norway and Austria)."
Miller is currently being coached by Todd Schumlick, a former BMX star who is working with top athletes like World Cup star Steve Smith and up-and-coming racer Remi Gauvin. "It's a year-round program training in the gym, on the bike, looking at nutrition, mental preparation, all of that stuff, and I'll travel with him to races," explained Miller. "It's been great. You don't have to worry about being strong enough to do it, we actually train to practice for the races instead of just the races — we train for the entire weekend, so you're confident you can do it.
"And I've got a pretty good support system in Squamish."