National Champ Lydia Boylan to contest Ras na mBan

Boylan winning the National Road Race. Pic: Dany Blondeel.
Boylan winning the National Road Race. Pic: Dany Blondeel.

National Road Race Champion Lydia Boylan has confirmed that she will race Ras na mBan this year with her UK-based WNT team.

The Dublin native said the Road Championships, who will also be at the Irish Grand Prix in Dublin this weekend, said while her current focus is with the Irish pursuit team at the moment, she is ‘delighted’ to be in Clare in September.

“I’m pretty pleased to announce I’ll be riding the Ras na mBan this year – and in the National Champs jersey!”

Her lead up to the National Champs was less than idea, she says, with her form up and down in the weeks and months beforehand.

The season has been a bit up and down for me. Overall I was feeling really strong but struggling mentally with fatigue after a long track season.

“But my road team has made a big difference for me this year. They were great at really giving me the motivation and support to get stuck into training and making sure I had good form for upcoming races especially the Matrix Fitness GP Series (aka Tour Series).”

And while Boylan loves the crit scene in the UK, and was looking forward to racing with a strong team she was struck down with flu in the middle of it.

“It absolutely floored me and I was only back on the bike just three weeks before Nationals.

“I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get the form I had back but my coach James Spragg is amazing and just gave me all the right sessions.”

The day before Nationals, on her usual pre race ride, Boylan knew she had good legs so felt confident in her preparation going into the race on Saturday.

Thankfully, it just all worked out on the day. My experience on the road the past few years definitely helps – I’m more confident in knowing what kind of rider I am.

As regards the future, she says it’s difficult to see think and plan past February and the World Championships in London.

“I try not to think too far ahead. This winter is so important and giving everything I have to being part of a team that qualifies for Rio.

“If everything falls into place and we’ve reached our goals then everything will be Rio focused. If we haven’t…well that’s something I’m not thinking about now.”