Q&A: George Mills-Keeling (Ribble Pro Cycling in 2020)

Shropshire’s George Mills-Keeling has signed for Ribble Pro Cycling for 2020 and we have a Q&A with the junior was second overall in the Junior Tour of Wales

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Q&A: George Mills-Keeling (Ribble Pro Cycling in 2020)

George Mills-Keeling has joined Ribble Pro Cycling for 2020 and here is a Q&A with him this week.

George, in 2019, was in his final year as a junior and has had a consistently strong season culminating in his recent 2nd overall at the Junior Tour of Wales. Other stand out results include 7th on GC at the Bizkaiko Itzulia stage race, and 3rd at the Cadence Junior National Series in Bristol. George is a strong climber and time trialist, both skills his new team are looking to continue to develop.

George’s reaction to join the team “I am extremely excited to be signing and racing for a team which such an amazing reputation as Ribble Pro Cycling in 2020. As a first-year under 23, there is still so much I can learn and improve on with the help of some very experienced teammates. After a great season last year has a second-year junior I feel confident I can make the jump to the senior ranks and be a valuable member of the team, I would like to thank everyone who has supported me this year, roll on next year!”

Ribble Pro Cycling adds “George has had an outstanding season as his final one as a junior. He has shown a real aptitude for tough, atritional races and is equally at home climbing or time trialing. We believe he will be a perfect fit for the team and we can both facilitate an effective transition into the senior ranks, provide a wealth of varied race opportunities and contribute heavily to his continually development both as a bike rider and as a person.”

George joins the team from 1st January but he will meet up with his team mates and staff at the teams annual December training camp and meet.

Q: Where in the country are you based?
George: Bridgnorth in Shropshire, West Midlands

Q: Full time cycling or working/student?
George: I am currently full time at sixth form doing my A Levels. I do my exams in April/May. Then I plan on going full-time cycling!

Q: If studying, how do you find balancing the racing and working at this level in Britain
George: It is very hard to get a balance with this as a lot of time has to go into training with a big step up for me next year, and also some very important exams during the season. The way I get around this issue is that my sixth form allows me time off to do training and racing, and I am super appreciative of this!

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Q: What does it mean to you to sign for a team with a lot of well-known riders with world class performances behind them?
George: Its inspiring to read about their past results and I want to learn from their past experiences.

Q: What was the highlight of the 2019 season for you?
George: Definitely the Tour of Wales, the biggest stage race for juniors in the UK with some huge names who have podiumed in it, I finished 2nd which is way better than I had anticipated, yet I did target this race as a key one do to well in.

Q: What was the best race (the most fun/enjoyable one) in 2019?
George: Bizkalio Itzulia (Junior tour of the Basque country) was for sure the most fun race I did this year. It was a hilly race around the Basque country in some very hot weather. Learnt a lot and met some great people while guesting for Zappi Juniors!

Q: What was the toughest race in 2019 and why?
George: Kuurne Brussels Kuurne was definitely a hard one for me. I crashed after 20ft when the lead car brake checked a group of juniors with carbon rims in the rain. I later crashed on one of many segments of cobbles breaking my frame, front wheel, helmet, shoes, jersey and gloves.

Q: Was there one thing you learned in 2019 that stands out?
George: Fortune favours the brave and hard-work works

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Q: How long have you been racing?
George: Since second year under 14.

Q: When does the serious training begin this winter?
George: Already has. I had a month off in September and have started my winter training at the start of October.

Q: Is your winter training structured the whole time or a mix of riding the bike easy and then getting serious with top end work?
George: Totally structured. I have to balance my time carefully as there isn’t that much of it, but it is nice to stop at a café once in a while.

Q: Do you train alone or is there a chain gang?
George: There is a famous chain gang on Saturday with a lot of good and pro riders. I also do a Sunday ride with Cycle Club Bridgnorth being my club for 2019. In the week, I tend to ride by myself or with a few mates.

Q: Finally, what races in 2020 are ones you really want to work towards being part of.
George: I would love to ride the Tour of Britain and Tour de Yorkshire next year, and I would like to win a few Nat B road races and improve my TT times.

Thank you George for the Q & A ….


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