BEING part of a Cycling Australia team which will compete for world titles in Italy – it is a dream come true for Bathurst’s Emilie Miller.
Late last week the talented hand cyclist was named in the 15-member Australian team to contest the 2018 UCI Para Road World Championships in August.
While Miller has previously represented her country on the world stage in Switzerland and South Africa, she described the chance to race in Maniago, Italy as an ‘absolute dream.’
“I’ve always wanted to go to Italy and now to be able to go there and race – I’m so excited,” she said.
“I’m just absolutely stoked.”
Selected on the back of her strong performance at the national titles earlier this year, Miller will be looking to add to her previous success on the world stage in road race and time trial events.
At Miller’s previous World Championships appearances she has been the only female in her H1 classification to attend and as such, raced alongside women with a lesser disability than herself.
But she is hoping the lure of racing in Italy attracts others this year to provide her with a more accurate yardstick of her racing strength.
“I’m not sure if there’s going to be anyone in my classification at worlds, hopefully there is. We’ve been working really hard to try and grow the classification over the last two years and seen a few pop up now again around the world,” she said.
“It would be great if we can get us all to race in the one spot at the one time because there are a few of us racing in the classification now.
“It would be great to see everyone and for myself, to see how I perform when I’m put under a bit of pressure in that sort of situation. I’d like to see what happens.
“That’s how you can identify what you need to work on and what your weaknesses are. I would be really interested to see how I do when I’m put up against them.”
But even if Miller is once again the sole female H1 handcyclist in attendance at Maniago from August 2-5, her drive to impress for her country will be as strong as ever.
She relishes the chance to be part of such a supportive team.
“This is my third time going away now, I’ve been fortunate enough to pull on the green and gold before, but I don’t think it ever loses it’s significance or it’s importance. Every time you pull it on you do have that extra little bit of oomph behind you, it really gives that push along and drive to go even better,” she said.
“No-one ever wants to disappoint while wearing it. It’s one of those special things, it never loses that significance.”