PHMas-Paul Milnes star Millie Couzens was in dominant form at the Central and Eastern Region Cyclocross Championships in early December, taking a big lead on the entire Under-16 Girls field and catching, then passing most of the U16 boys who had started before her race. Millie, who is National Champion for her age group, recorded an average lap time more than a minute faster than her closest rival, Ellen Bennett from organising club Welwyn Wheelers,
Following the medal award ceremony, she spoke to Neutral Service’s Simon Blackwell about the race…
Neutral Service: Congratulations on the win! You were pretty dominant from beginning to end.
Millie Couzens: Thank you! I just tried to go as hard as I could, see how fast I could go and catch up many of the boys.
NS: I think there were about six boys in front of you at the finish, so a pretty good result from that perspective.
MC: (Laughing) Thank you, I just went hard!
NS: What was the course like for you?
MC: I really liked it, it’s hard, has some hard little hills and some really nice corners.
NS: How easy was it getting past the boys, was it a case of “see a boy, pedal past him”?
MC: To start with, in the first couple of laps, it was like that; when I caught one I tried to go straight past them, then towards the end as they were getting quicker I stayed with them and had to work a bit harder to get past them.
NS: Would you have preferred a race with just women?
MC: No, I quite like racing with the boys; it’s more interesting and gives you other people to race.
NS: So you deliberately use them as a pace maker?
MC: Yes, a lot of the time!
NS: Do you feel pressure when you’re riding in the National Champions stripes?
MC: Sometimes a little bit, but I just try and enjoy it and not worry about it.
NS: What’s next for you?
MC: National Series this weekend then after Christmas National Champs!
Photography © Neutral Service / Simon Blackwell / John Orbea