What makes a road racer tick? Redchilli Bikes meet Millie Skinner
Today we introduce you to Millie Skinner in this, our final Q&A session with the riders of new, elite UK based women’s race team, Finish Line Racing, sponsored by Redchilli Bikes.
RB: How did you first get involved with cycling?
MS: I started cycling at the age of 14 after switching from athletics. I was a track sprinter but sadly stopped due to injury. Initially I cycled because my parents did, and I’d be left out otherwise! I raced a bit when I was younger, but it was really after training for the Tour of Flanders sportive in 2019 that I found my fitness and pursued a season of racing.
RB: How would you describe your racing style?
MS: I love short but hard efforts, so I guess I’m quite a punchy rider. I love it when it comes down to a sprint finish.
RB: 2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least. How have you managed to keep motivated and focused?
MS: I came back from university and spent lockdown at home. I think being with my parents and having their constant support has kept me going. My coach has also been a big support during this time. He knew the importance of keeping me motivated and we adapted and changed goals throughout the season. Zwift has been a big training aid and allowed me to race when its not been possible outside. It’s not the same as normal racing but it’s been the best thing in a bad situation.
We did switch to time trialling when they started in the summer. It’s not the sort of racing I love, but it did allow me to pin a number on, and work on my aero position on the TT bike.
RB: What excites you the most about racing for (and with) Finish Line Racing, and what do you hope you can bring to the team?
MS: I’m so excited to be racing for Finish Line Racing. It’s my first signing for a team and it will be my first year racing nationally. There’s so much to learn but I couldn’t be in better hands! I can’t wait to be racing with and for team mates!
RB: How do you organise your training during the winter months, and are there any specific areas of your riding that you will concentrate on?
MS: I work closely with my coach and at the minute we’re trying to improve my aerobic endurance. Because I haven’t been cycling for as many years as others, I haven’t built up as much endurance, so this means long days in the saddle over the winter!
RB: With regard bike racing, what is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
MS: Once I switched from athletics to cycling my stepdad’s advice was “learn to suffer”. Living near the peaks, even recovery rides aren’t easy, and I’ve taken this advice into my hard training sessions and races. As threshold boundaries are pushed up, I’m always learning!
RB: What are your main goals for 2021 and do you have your eyes on any particular races?
MS: My main goal is to learn lots and soak up the new experiences! I’m just so excited to be riding with the team that I’ll be looking forward to every race but of course being a Lincoln based team, the Lincoln GP will be a special one!
RB: If you could ride with any Pro rider (past or present) who would it be and why?
MS: I think it would be Lizzie Deignan [English Professional Cyclist] as a fellow Yorkshire lass I’ve always followed her career. She was the world champion as I was just getting into cycling, so she just inspired me more. She’s a great inspiration for young girls.
RB: Does it annoy you when a random cyclist tries to race you?
MS: Only if they’re on an E-Bike!! What does annoy me is when people think they’re too pro to say hello!
RB: You’re marooned on a desert island. What 3 things could you absolutely not live without?
MS: I always find these sort of questions hard because I’m indecisive and love just about everything but at the minute it would have to be the BBC Sounds app, which has been my saviour this year, pizza and a cuppa tea – with some digestives. I’m an easy going girl!
Redchilli Bikes would like to thank Millie for taking the time out to talk with us. Look out for the next 5 minute Q&A on Monday 14th December, where we get to meet Rick Lister, Team Directeur Sportif for Finish Line Racing. He’s the man that has made all this happen….
Redchilli are delighted to be sponsoring Finish Line Racing for the 2021 season – and no doubt beyond. If you would like to follow Finish Line Racing during their preparations for the season ahead, then please follow both the team and Redchilli Bikes on social media.
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