Friday, October 18, 2013

NYC Cyclist Wins World Cycling Tour Despite Broken Pelvis

Story by Max Almenas   Photos courtesy of Ann Marie Miller

NYC Cyclist Wins World Cycling Tour Despite Broken Pelvis By Max Almenas Photos courtesy of Ann Marie Miller When Ann Marie Miller arrived in New York City (NYC) from Seymour, Indiana to become a professional actor, she never imagined she would trade the stages of Broadway for world championship podiums in cycling.

 Miller, who had already won the UCI World Cycling Tour in her age category twice in the last two years continued her streak on September 22 earning gold in the women's 55-59 road race, and women's 55-59 time trial during the UCI World Cycling Tour in Trento Italy – adding to a career that includes 11 United States National Master’s Championships.

“I qualified to go to the World’s last year in South Africa and I won the time-trial and road races, so I was really motivated to go back this year because if it was in Europe, I knew it would be more competitive,” said Miller, adding the tour ended with a 12 -mile climb to the finish line. “How could you go wrong racing in the hot bed of competitive cycling?”

But the road to victory would not be etched in stone this year. On May 5, the 55-year-old fractured her pelvis during the Putnam Cycling Classic.

“It’s a great event, but it was one of these mishaps where I was riding in a group of 20 guys, someone swerved and took out the rider in front of me and I went down,” Miller explained. “Tim [Snell] [boyfriend] was riding me around in a wheel chair and I didn't know what that would do to my season.”

After consulting with NYC orthopedic surgeon Claudette Lajam, a fellow cyclist who was more optimistic of Miller’s potential for recovery than she was, Miller began water therapy.

“Doing anything at that point was intimidating, but it was great because it was just what I needed,” Miller said. “I could still keep my legs moving without the impact or weight. Based on her encouragement, I did things I wouldn't have gone to. I had from July 5 till September 20th to whip myself back into shape.” Miller would go on to finish the Green Mountain Criterium with the front group, which instilled her confidence to continue to the UCI World Cycling Tour and victory.

Life Transformations 

Miller made her transition into fitness after enrolling in Marymount College’s first fitness program and later earned her Master’s in Applied Physiology at Columbia University, which led to a career as a fitness instructor and eventually a cycling coach.

“What had attracted me to performing was communicating and sharing a message to people and when you’re in fitness or education, you’re also sharing information, Miller explained. “I was called to spending more time helping people instead of pouring all this energy into show business. I enjoy motivating people and helping them take their fitness to the next level.”

Although Miller owned a bike at the time, she was afraid to ride on the chaotic streets of NYC. But after enjoying a ride in Central Park one afternoon, she decided to commute via bicycle everyday. After a friend convinced her to enter a duathlon, and she won second place in her age category, Miller entered multiple events and joined group rides, which led to her enrolling into the Special Interest Group 12-week program with the New York Cycle Club.

“They start out with 40-mile rides and get progressively longer which ends with a graduation ride to Bear Mountain,” Miller said, adding she was 42 at the time. “And then a friend said her bike handling skills improved when she started racing. I had no illusions about bike racing. It looked terrifying to me having watched CRCA [Century Road Club Association] races in Central Park.”

After winning at Bear Mountain, Miller transitioned from a cat 4 to a cat 2 within 6 weeks. Miller, now a cat 1 racer, has 5 road race championships, 4 criterium championships, and two-time-trial championships under her belt.

In the UCI World Cycling Tour, Miller topped the women's 55-59 podium after crossing the line in 2:41:16.4. She was one of 16 Americans who earned medals.

In addition to racing, Miller coaches cyclists and provides lactate threshold testing in NYC.

No comments:

Post a Comment