- Discipline: Track
- Date of Birth: 19/07/1987
- Gender: Female
- Born: Dublin
- Team: Team WNT
Lydia Boylan is a triple national road race champion, multiple track national champion and is a regular member of the Irish National Track Team. The Dublin born cyclist has had many memorable moments in her cycling career, with the highlights including winning her first national track title in 2012, and then winning her two national road titles back to back.
When not competing for Ireland on the track, Lydia races on Team WNT, and recently returned to her Dublin home, to use as a training base. Showing her versatility as a rider, one of the many highlights in Lydia's career was finishing second overall in Ireland's premier women's race, An Post Rás na mBan, in Kilkenny in 2016, with a stellar line up of competitors from around the world.
Growing up Lydia wasn't really aware of cycling as a sport, while she owned a bike, she admits it didn't get much action. It was in 2009 that she began riding competitively, after her car broke down. It was mostly just for a way to get around at first, but as she had a bit of time on her hands she decided to get involved with Dundrum based Scott Orwell Wheelers.
Training and recovery are both crucial, and something that Lydia enjoys managing. With each session she focuses on getting the best out of herself, and in order for that to be possible she places a significant focus on recovery, and on refuelling the body. This balance becomes even more important in a sport where travel is a key component. With track events in particular, the travel has the potential to be overwhelming, with the events taking place right around the world. The challenge is two fold - with the physical side having to be supported by the funding. Having the funds to go full time training is not easy and a lot of support is required.
One of Lydia's main long term goals is the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, in Australia. These take place in 2018, and while she competed in the last Games in Glasgow, she would love to go to Australia knowing she can be really competitive and get a result. Lydia competed for Northern Ireland in 2014, and would love an opportunity to immerse herself in the whole atmosphere of a multi-sport competition. The Commonwealth Games are special, with a ceremonial focus with the opening and closing ceremonies and lunch with the Queen - her current race results are placing her on target for a repeat selection!
Outside of cycling, Lydia is a qualified engineer and initially combined her cycling career with teaching at the University of Nottingham's School of Architecture, juggling to achieve that balance between work and cycling.
Lydia has seen success in both road and track races throughout Europe and Ireland with victories and top finishes in Ireland, the UK, and Spain, which his been a big confidence boost. Every rider trains hard but it’s the results that matter. So knowing she is making the right moves in races and starting to show what she can do, it gives her more confidence to continue doing that, and push on and bring home even more successes.
For any athlete, representing their country at an Olympic Games is the ultimate dream. But after spending the previous two years trying to qualify for Rio, she’s know just how hard it is to get there. For the time being, Lydia is taking it season by season, and if at the end of her exploits, it means she qualified for Tokyo she will be one happy rider!
If you want to follow Lydia's journey - click on the links at the top of the page!
Profile Compiled by Cathal Kelly