Castle Hill’s Ashlee Miller has had a rollercoaster year and it looks like the bike will be hung up for the majority of 2020.
It has been a tough year in terms of success for the rising star from NSW.
In 2018 Miller found the top of the junior elite podium on a multitude of platforms including the national championships in Bunbury, as well as a dominant performance on the national series stage.
Winning again after Oceania’s on Wednesday 🙌,
Watch Ashlee Miller win the women’s junior elite at Bunbury BMX Club Inc. #BMXANats18
Posted by BMX Australia on Saturday, March 24, 2018
Yet 2019 couldn’t be more different, starting with a heavy crash on the first berm during the stage 1 of the 2019 BMXA BAD BOY National Series in Sydney.
That injury put a halt on her national series campaign, missing out on stage 2 at Westside before returning spectacularly to stage 3 at Ipswich, where she went bar-for-bar with Beenleigh’s Des’Ree Barnes and Pine Rivers’ Kiana Botfield to win on overall points.
Unfortunately, that was the final national stage victory for the 18-year old, who was on track for another successful year on the bike.
Her final major race was the national championships in May at Shepparton, and it ended in disaster for the HSC student who came down hard in the second moto, breaking her collarbone in the process.
(Watch from 13:20)
“My collarbone broke so far about that it would never heal without help,” Miller explained.
“I was in so much pain after nationals. What was worse was that I had an eight-hour drive from Shepparton to Sydney with a broken shoulder and as soon as I got home, I was taken straight to hospital for surgery.
“This means that I’m out for the all the world cup rounds in Australia, which I am really gutted about. My plan was to go to all four of the world cup rounds before enjoying my end of high school and taking a gap year travelling.
“But now I’m going to flip it around and travel first before hopefully having a couple of races in the national rounds in America at the back end of the year.”
It was well known how excited Miller was for the 2019 season after discussing with BMXA how much she was looking forward to tackling the 8-metre hill at nationals (Shepparton). But health needed to come first and Miller needed to focus on her higher school certificate before continuing her career on the BMX bike.
“It was a real shame to come down at nationals,” Miller continued.
“I think my lead up to the event couldn’t have gone any smoother and I felt great during the first moto. But coming together with Desi in that first straight was pretty heart-wrenching, but I guess that’s the sport. It’s not called a full body contact sport for nothing.
“But my health needed to come first, especially with some concussions at the start of the year in Sydney so I needed to focus on my schoolwork in the back end.”
Nevertheless, Miller will return to the bike and she is reassuring naysayers she can’t wait to do so.
“I spoke to Luke (Madill) who offered me a spot on the national team, but I had to sadly decline.
“I’m not saying I’m never going to be back; I love racing and everything about it. But I was always going to take a gap year next year and haven’t really decided on anything yet. I guess we shall see.”