Q&A: George Mills-Keeling (AVC Aix En Provence)

With support from the Dave Rayner Foundation, George Mills-Keeling is racing with French team AVC Aix En Provence for the rest of the season

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Q&A: George Mills-Keeling (AVC Aix En Provence)

During lockdown last year, I would from time to time see George Mills-Keeling at time trials but it’s all change in 2021 as George is with a French club team AVC Aix En Provence with lots of racing ahead of him…

Q: The Volta a Castello, how was that for you?
George: It was a four day four stage mountain-full on race in Spain. All the days were around 80 miles in length. It was great, I really enjoyed it, it reminded me very much of the Junior tour of the Basque that I raced with Zappi juniors back in 2019, which is the best race I have ever done. It was hard, but I didn’t feel out of my depth, I made the selection on the longer climbs and set some new power PBs after days of racing hard.

Q: Was that your first big road race for a while?
George: Sort of. I raced the weekend before in an Elite National 2 day in France, but as I had travelled out the same week, I was still tired and didn’t really get anywhere. So Spain was my first proper race out.

Q: How did you come to find the team you are racing for?
George: I took a look at the French teams that had taken British riders the year before (2020) and did some research. Then I contacted the team and they said they would give me ago!

Q: You are known for your time trialling, will you get to do any of that there?
George: Yes, we have a TTT training camp in two weeks and I should be taking part in a few TTs within the end of the year and a TTT is a common part of a French stage race.

Q: Where are you based and how long do you intend to stay there?
George: I am currently living with a Dutch team mate of mine called Alex. We live in a flat in a suburb of Aix-en-Provence called Ventabren. I intend to stay here the whole season.

Q: How different is day to day life away from the racing?
George: It’s very different to being at home. The obvious thing is everyone speaks French but other than that, it’s as normal as you want to make it. It does feel like an endless training camp at times.

Q: How does your team help you get to races there?
George: We all meet up at the team club house a day before the race and drive over in the range of buses that they have.

Q: Do you have much racing coming up?
George: I will be racing every weekend from now until October.

Q: Do you train alone there, or with fellow teammates?
George: I’m training with my house mate and another British rider, Oliver Knight, who lives about 5km from where I am staying and it’s good to have another British guy here.

Q: Finally, what is it like in the peloton there compared to here -just another bike race?
George: They race very hard here from start to finish. It’s constant attacks. Paired with this is the very tight bunch, it’s hard to move up. It’s sketchy to a level that would cause lots of crashes in the UK, but it’s rare there is a crash here. Everyone seems more relaxed.

Good luck to George in the coming races


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