A MINUTE WITH: RUBY MILLER
Reigning girls’ national cyclo-cross champion Ruby Miller loves the mud, but the 15-year-old from Llantwit Major is causing a stir in every discipline she turns her hand to.
How did you first get interested in cycling?
I started off doing triathlon at the age of 10 — my mum is a coach with the Maindy Triathlon club in Cardiff — and that got me into cycling with the Maindy Flyers. My coach suggested that cyclo-cross would be a good way of keeping fit in the winter and I really took to it.
Maindy Flyers produce lots of talented youngsters. What’s their secret?
They are a very supportive club; very close-knit. I was spotted by the British Cycling Talent Team when was I was 13, riding a cross race, and they have helped to develop me. Now I do track, cross, mtb and road, but I still do the occasional triathlon just for fun. This year I am riding for the Lifeforce Development team.
It sounds like you have a competitive family?
My brother, Rowan and sister, Grace, both ride and both do triathlons, although Rowan is keenest on swimming. My dad used to race motorbikes — he was the national drag-racing champion. The fastest man in Wales!
There must be lots of bikes in your shed?
Trek helps me with the bikes. There are two cross bikes, two mountain bikes and… um, yes, quite a few!
Is it difficult to fit in your schoolwork with your training?
It’s quite tricky; I do most of my training after school, but I am studying for 11 GCSEs. There’s not much time for a social life but my friends are very understanding — they say they want to see me in the Olympics.
Is it inspiring having a national champion’s jersey to race in?
Yes, but unfortunately I won’t get to wear it next season because I will be a junior.
What races will you be doing in the next few weeks?
My first race will be the opening round of the national mtb series in Thetford, then a criterium in Bradford. After that I will be doing lots of track, road and mountain bike races.
How is the track racing going?
I raced in Holland last year, representing Wales in the Interland track competition. The pursuit wasn’t brilliant but I had the fastest 200m time in the sprint, which I was really pleased with. I only rode two of the Revolution meetings over the winter, because they clashed with cross races, but I did OK at the second one, supporting my team-mate, Hannah Manly.
What is your favourite meal?
Probably pasta since it’s such good energy food.
Any tips for up-and-coming young riders?
Off-road, keep learning from your crashes. Whenever I crash, I always make sure I go over what happened and put it right so that it doesn’t happen again. On the track, there was a long break after one crash I had before I went back again. It is OK now, but it made it harder to do. Always get straight back on.