Meredith Miller turns focus to breast cancer awareness as she recovers from hand injury

While recovering from a hand injury, Meredith Miller has turned her focus to breast-cancer awareness through Hope Lives

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On October 6, with two laps to go at day 1 of the Providence Cyclocross Festival in Providence, Rhode Island, Meredith Miller felt strong and in control. With five top-six performances in her 2012 ’cross season, she felt confident and ready to execute her race plan.

Instead, a crash and two broken metacarpal bones in one hand ended her day. It did not, however, end her season.

The California Giant Berry Farms-Specialized rider may be sidelined now, but her ’cross season is far from over. She told VeloNews Friday afternoon that she still has her sights on securing one of five spots for February’s world championships in Louisville, Kentucky.

After consulting with several doctors and visiting the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine in Colorado, Miller decided to undergo surgery for the spiral fractures in her right hand. Her checkup on November 18 will, she hopes, confirm her return to competition.

In the meantime, she stays fit by riding indoors, while at the same time raising money for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month through her team’s “Pretty in Pink” campaign. Miller began wearing pink while racing cyclocross  in 2010, but has since developed the campaign even further.

“Wearing pink is great, but I felt like I was taking the easy way out,” Miller said. “I wanted to do more.”

To date, Miller has raised $15,000 over the past two years for Hope Lives, a breast cancer awareness center in Fort Collins, Colorado. She aims to raise $10,000 this year alone. By selling socks, T-shirts, and bike jerseys emblazoned with the slogan, “Pink is the new fast,” Miller is already approaching that goal.

She has also drawn attention and support for the campaign through an online raffle featuring her new ’cross bike, a SRAM-equipped Specialized S-Works Crux with Zipp wheels.

The entire Cal Giant cyclocross team — whose men’s squad includes junior racer Yannick Eckmann; under-23 rider Cody Kaiser; Tobin Ortenbald, second this year at the national junior cross-country championships; and masters rider Justin Robinson — is racing in pink this season to raise breast cancer awareness.

Miller aims to rejoin her teammates at races in California and Oregon in early December, race in World Cups in Europe over Christmas weekend, and contest the national championships in January. Racing during the holidays was not what Miller had envisioned for her season, but she said that, once healthy, she will do what’s needed to qualify for her fourth worlds team.

“It is a big deal having worlds in the States this year,” Miller said.

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