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Interview: Amanda Miller
 
By Bart Hazen
Date: 12/23/2011
Interview: Amanda Miller
 

Interview: Amanda Miller
Interview with Thüringen Rundfahrt stage winner Amanda Miller. Miller will be one of the team captains for TIBCO-To the Top in 2012.


25 year old Amanda Miller (Iowa, United States) had a very good season with HTC-Highroad. Coming from TIBCO Miller immediately showed her strengths by winning a stage in the Merco Classic. After finishing second in San Dimas and ninth in Redlands, Miller came to Europe for some stage racing and with success. She finished 19th in the Giro Donne, took a stage win in Thüringen and finished 4th overall in the Ardeche. After the folding of HTC-Highroad Miller decided to return to Team TIBCO for the 2012 season. An interview:

Can you introduce yourself?

I was born and raised in Southeastern Iowa on a grain farm. My summers were filled with 4-H and FFA projects, specifically cattle. I played basketball all through grade school and most of high school. Cycling didn’t become a part of my life until 2004, my junior year of high school. After graduating from the local community college with an associates degree, I transferred to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. This is where my cycling started to get serious. I raced collegiately for CSU and eventually landed a pro contract with Team LipSmacker.

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Amanda Miller. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

How did you get involved with cycling? With a basketball background and cycling not being in your family.
I started riding my bike to keep in shape for basketball season. I really enjoyed it, so I bought a new bike and started riding some local mountain bike trails. A job at a bike shop introduced me to the local racing scene. While participating in local group rides, I was convinced to try racing. My first race was a mountain bike race, and I became hooked.

What kind of rider are you?
I’m a climber, but I can time trial as well. Also, I can sprint in certain situations.

What are your strengths and on what needs to be worked on?
Climbing and time trialing. I’m always working on improving those skills. Of course having some what of a sprint is important, so I continue to work on that as well.

How do you look back at your season with HTC-Highroad?
It was incredible. I think about it a lot and am constantly amazed at how it went. The team and staff were all very supportive. I had my best season yet and learned many things.

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Climbing the Mur of Huy in the Fleche Wallonne. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

How was it too ride for a world class team like HTC-Highroad?
I found it very rewarding. Sure there was some pressure to win races, but everyone was on the same page and dealt with that pressure positively.

You are going to ride again for Team TIBCO next season. Why the change? Was there no option to stay with HTC’s successor Specialized-Lululemon.
After the initial folding of HTC Highroad, Linda Jackson contacted me. She presented me with a very appealing offer, addressing that she would like me to be one of the team leaders. I haven’t been in that position yet, so I was interested in learning the ropes. At the time I signed with TIBCO, there wasn’t a Specialized-Lululemon or HTC team. TIBCO is a great program and Linda has put together a very strong team. Not only am I going to get to race my bike in Europe still, but I’ll potentially be going for wins in races I love here in the U.S.

What will be your goals next season?
To progress as a rider and learn how to be a team leader. And of course, win some races!

What will be your goals on long term as a person and as a cyclist?
I want to make the Olympic team, whether it’s in the road race or time trial. As a person, I want to make the most of my life. I hope to make a positive impact on the sport.

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She is a good climber and can do well in ITT's as well. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

You also compete or competed in cyclocross and mountainbike. For cyclocross do you consider for the future to try it a whole season both in USA and Europe?
The thought has crossed my mind. I enjoy racing cyclocross and mountain bikes. I do see myself racing a season in the USA and Europe at some point in my career, whether it’s mountain biking or cyclocross.

Like many others you are coming from collegiate cycling too. Can you tell us more about this phenomenon?
Collegiate cycling is a great stepping stone. It’s where a lot of people learn how to race as a team. This is the most important thing in cycling. Collegiate teams have great support systems with lots of experience surrounding them.

What are you doing when not riding a bike?
Spending time with friends, family and my dog, Drake. I also enjoy hiking, fishing, snow shoeing, camping, and many other outdoor activities.

One of your hobby’s is “fly-fishing” . Can you tell us more about this?
I enjoy the outdoors and fishing is one of my hobbies. Fly fishing requires more technique and skill than regular fishing, which is what draws me to the sport.

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The stage win in Thüringen was her first international victory. Photo © 2011 Bart Hazen

What do we have to know from you what most people don’t know?
I know a few tricks with the yo-yo.

You have any crazy or special nicknames you got from family, friends or colleagues?
My friends gave me the nickname “A-rae” because my middle name is Rae.

What did you study?
Natural Resource Management

If you weren't a cyclist. What would you be doing?
I’d be finishing school. After I graduated, I’d hopefully find a job in my field (i.e. Park Ranger, Forester, etc.)

Final question. What is your motto?
I really appreciate this quote: “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”

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