Quiz Time! Millie Skinner

It’s Quiz time and taking the question and answer is Millie Skinner of Pro-Noctis Rotor Redchilli Bikes Heidi Kjeldsen, a 24 year old racing cyclist from Sheffield who has been racing for three years

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Quiz Time! Millie Skinner

It’s Quiz time and taking the question and answer is Millie Skinner of Pro-Noctis Rotor Redchilli Bikes Heidi Kjeldsen, a 24 year old racing cyclist from Sheffield who has been racing for three years. Millie has recently moved back to her home city, after spending a year living in Cornwall. Here is Millie’s Q&A! – thank you Millie

Q: How long have you been racing?
Millie: I’ve been racing for about 3 years now. I did a bit when I was younger but prioritised school and university. After realising my mum was fitter than me after my first year of University, I knew I had to do something! I joined my family and a group of friends who had signed up for the Tour of Flanders sportive in 2019. Realising I was now fitter than before, I carried this fitness into my first proper go at racing. I soon moved from 4th to 2nd cat and was ready to give 2020 a good go, little did I know what was around the corner!

Q: How did you come to race bikes?
Millie: My step dad introduced me to bikes after I suffered an injury from athletics which was my sport at the time. Cycling allowed me to keep fit and train when I couldn’t run.

Q: How difficult was 2020 with little racing or did it give you time to reset, refresh and focus on 2021?
Millie: My university degree had come to a halt as we couldn’t conduct our testing so everything was about training and it felt great! My coach, Dean, looked after me and we changed goals with the circumstances. I had fun racing on Zwift and built up my fitness with longer miles on the bike. I competed in a few TT’s, mainly at the Cuckney 10s, once we were allowed to. It was a fun and refreshing change but with underlying progression.

Q: Do you think you came out of 2020 stronger, the same or less strong as you were before that season of no races?
Millie: Definitely stronger. I had more time to train, rest and really focus on a strength and conditioning programme which helped a lot.

Q: What was the highlight of your racing in 2021?
Millie: In all honesty, the whole year has been a highlight. It’s the first year I’ve ever ridden for a team and at a national level and it’s been such a great year. I have to say Jo winning the National Crit Champs was such a highlight. It might not have been my racing but it was the best feeling seeing everyone so elated by her performance and seeing the team pulling off some amazing teamwork. It was special to be a part of.

Q: Is there a routine to travelling to an event with the team; ie, do you travel with them or get to an event yourself?
Millie: I usually travel on my own or with my parents. Living in Cornwall, meant a lot of miles covered on my own in my little car last year, which is one of the reasons for moving back to Sheffield. Depending on the race location, the team might stay together the night before and travel together in the morning. We always try to travel together when we can.

Q: Were there learning moments in 2021 races and if so, what were they?
Millie: I’ve learnt something from every race this year. It’s my first year racing at the national standard and it’s been such a step up from the regional races I was used to in 2019. It’s been a real eye opener and I’m now working on everything I’ve learnt from this year to become a better rider in 2022.

Q: What’s the furthest you have travelled for a bike race in 2021?
Millie: About 400 miles from Newquay to Ampleforth for the Ryedale GP. Safe to say it took a lot out of me!

Q: Do you go into a race nervous or intimidated by other riders or do you have the confidence to hold your own (perhaps with the team support helping to give you that?
Millie: It’s been a big jump up from the regional races to the national standard, and of course that brings nerves with it. The team has been a massive support going into every race and looked after me when I might have seemed nervous. I’ve always struggled with confidence but coming into the team as a development rider meant I could learn without pressure of results which really helped me.

Q: Do you train on a training bike or the race bike …
Millie: I’m on my winter bike at the minute. I wouldn’t want to get my Redchilli dirty! It also makes you appreciate your race bike when you’ve been on the winter hack for a few months.

Q: Do you cross train at all, running, swimming, gym or other disciplines like MTB
Millie: After 2020, I realised how important strength and conditioning training was so I always try to incorporate it into my training.

Q: Where is your favourite training ride?
Millie: Very simply out to Stannage Edge and back via the Strines. It’s not a big route but some very nice views of the Peaks. Abney is pretty nice too. I went on some very beautiful rides in Cornwall, one of my favourites was along the coastal road to St Agnes.

Q: What type of race suits you best?
Millie: A circuit race, they’re good fun and I’m a punchy rider!

Q: What are your tips for staying warm on a long winter ride?
Millie: Potentially an unpopular opinion but sometimes I wear my gilet under my jacket, I think it’s warmer but I could have just convinced myself it’s true! We have some great kit that keeps us warm in the winter.

Q: What are goals for 2022
Millie: To get stuck in more, be confident in my ability and enjoy the process of progress.


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