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Rider Profile - Lydia Gurley

08/07/2016

RIDER PROFILE: LYDIA GURLEY

Name: Lydia Gurley

Date of Birth: 9/9/84

Club: Aerocoach

From: Athenry, Galway

Lives: Dublin, Ireland

Discipline: Road Race/Track Cycling




How did you get into cycling?

 

I started cycling quite late in life and initially did triathlons. I found cycling to be the most enjoyable of the three disciplines and really just love the freedom cycling offers. When I moved to the UK I original did some cyclocross racing, which is a lot of fun!, then road racing and finally after some encouragement from Orla Hendron tried out track cycling. Not the most direct path but track racing is definitely the most intense and exciting form 😁


How do you find the transition from road racing to track cycling?

In general they work quite well together. The road racing and training gives the endurance which, despite the shorter nature of track bunch races, is really important. I prefer track racing because in general if you make a mess of one race there is often another race the same day to try again. In road racing if you miss a break, or are poorly positioned at the finish, it's game over and a long day in the saddle can feel wasted.


What has been the highlight of your season so far?

Highlight would probably be third at the National TT Championships. I was "quite" (putting it lightly) nervous before the start. It was my first TT Nationals and actually my first 40km TT. Time trialling is such a pure effort with no tactics really other than good pacing. In addition I have been working with Dr. Xavier Disley at Aerocoach who is so incredibility enthusiastic about aerodynamics and optimised my position on the TT bike. My coach Chris Davis gave me the best training plan and confidence to do well. It was odd because despite it being a solo TT effort I really felt I had a "team" behind me and I was happy to get a result.

In addition I rode the Berlin 6 day track event earlier this year and won a Points race. It was awesome because the velodrome was packed and my family was there to watch.


How do you describe yourself as a rider?

Probably as an all-rounder which given my background isn't surprising. I tend to do better in longer road and track event which are raced at a high pace and don't end in a massive bunch sprint.


On the track, what is your favourite discipline?

I like the bunch races. I initially thoroughly disliked the elimination race but with a bit of practice I've improved so like it a bit more. In addition I enjoy the Points race, especially if it's long and I can get in a break and pick up some points. In general if it's under 3km I'm not a fan!


You competed in World Cycling League earlier this year – it’s a new concept – how was the experience?

It was a lot of fun and I was really fortunate to get an opportunity to race on the Dublin Thunder team. The team were awesome and I don't think I've ever laughed some much. It is a really interesting concept and I really hope it can be a success for the organisers as they ran a fantastic event.


What is your favourite training session?

I'm not really sure I have a favourite training session but it is satisfying when you finish a session and know you gave it everything. I like a nice long ride in a warm place with some long hills. To be honest I trust the training my coach sets me and if it makes me better I'll do it.


What is your favourite cycling route?

I did some touring through America and my favourite part was definitely the Red Wood forest in the North of California, it was spectacular. I've recently moved to Dublin and have ridden through the Wicklow hills. On a beautiful day there truly is nowhere else in the world better for cycling.


Have you any ritual you use when preparing for a race?

I'm not really superstitious so it's generally an appropriate warm up for the upcoming event and loud music which is so bad I'd be embarrassed to mentioned band names! Then it's time to try and get the head in a good place and take it from there.



You are just after winning silver in the points at DTCI, what is next for Lydia Gurley?

I'm planning to do the Omnium, Points and Scratch race at the Giorni Delle Rose in Italy mid July, mostly for experience and to gain points for the Irish team to compete at World Cup events. I'm also planning to compete at the Track Nationals at the end of August in the Scratch and Individual Pursuit. In general just do as much track racing as possible including the London 6 days and Berlin 6 day to get better and get results.


Photos

Time Trial, taken by Tom Horan

Track photo (action) taken by Colm Ó Cuinneagáin

Track podium taken by Sean Rowe

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