25 / 12 / 2012

A CHRISTMAS WISH FOR YOU

The best thing about Christmas time is importantly the permission to stop and reflect…. receptiveness towards inspiration can then evolve….

I am taking a small opportunity today to wish you all a wonderful festive season with loved ones!

Upon reflecting, 2012 has been an incredible journey and I would like to thank you all, I have not achieved heights in this incredible year alone. 

To my dear sponsors for the loyalty and access to enhancing my daily performance, my family and friends for the unconditional love and for each of my local communities and the world of cycling enthusiasts out there for the accolades and encouragement. I have been humbled and honoured the past months to share my journey with you all! 

If I can give you all a gift this Christmas is the knowledge that anything in life sits within the realm of what you dare to dream….

Merry Christmas everyone xox


12 / 12 / 2012

SIEMENS FUTURIDE

What a night Futuride was. It was an absolute honour to pedal alongside hundreds of Aussies, achieve some vitally key messages and Guinness Book of Record results! Well done Siemens Australia for this pioneering example of community powered approach to a more sustainable future.

http://www.futuride.com.au/


1 / 12 / 2012

AUSTRALIA'S WINNING EDGE - ASC ANNOUNCEMENT

I represented Cycling Australia at yesterday’s Australian Sports Commission ‘Winning Edge’ announcement at the MCG. It means huge positive reform for Aussie sport with Olympic and World Championship medals the ultimate goal. I was honored to be part of it – catch my interview here;


19 / 11 / 2012

WOMEN & WHEELS INTERVIEW

Proud to share my story for the ‘Women & Wheels’ series which went to air last night on SBS! In 2012, Cycling Australia, in association with SBS Television, are bringing into public eye the stories of our top female cyclists. In mid-2011, Cycling Australia shared in funding from the Australian Sports Commission through the Australian Government’s Women in Sport Media Grants, an initiative to increase the exposure and reach of women’s sport in the Australian media.


12 / 11 / 2012

A SMALL PROUD & HAPPY MOMENT 

It was a complete highlight of my weekend to have been asked for my photo with these two young girls. It was a refreshing reminder of the ‘off bike’ reward in the life if a pro cyclist – capturing attention of young minds, inspiring and empowering others. A humbling thought but entertaining further makes me excited and proud to be living my passion, embarking on bigger dreams and capturing more moments like this along the way.


11 / 10 / 2012

CA ACCEPTANCE SPEECH - VIDEO


CA AWARDS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

Wow… Seven weeks is a long time to have an immovable smile planted on ones face.

2007 was actually my debut in green & gold. Kitting up in an Aussie uniform indeed a career high…. problem was… it slowly ignited a deep sense something was not right, I knew I was completely on the wrong side of the fence.

It’s been approximately five years and two months since I arrived home from Europe, as Aussie rowing team physio, and googled women’s cycling development in Australia.

Its been approximately five years and one month since I relocated from Sydney to Adelaide to act on these ambitions. Needless to say the past few years have been quite a little journey and I have just a few people to thank

Tammie Ebert, Kevin Macintosh and Gary West who welcomed my application for the SASI NTID program, took me seriously & we’re pivotal in my early development – forget teaching me to race in the first instance but in fact how to ride a bike was the first agenda.

Simon Gillett & the AGF for allowing Amy’s legacy to be shared with such grace and vitality. The 2010 AGF scholarship I was awarded allowed me the next key to the door – an essential launchpad into Europe. It also opened up a great friendship with Tracy Gaudry, What an extraordinary mentor she’s been the past two years.

Tim Decker, my coach for the past three years – without our relationship I would not be standing here. I’ve enjoyed strength gains physically, but more importantly mentally, now believing and understanding I can become one of the best in the world.

Martin Barras & Dave McPartland thank you for your guidance in my development, giving me a debut world championships birth this year, preparing a flawless lead up, installing confidence in my team role & of course for the spectacular words on that final lap.

My six Teammates, Spratty, Jess, Shara, Tiff, Loren, Gracie. Racing with an exceptional like minded group of women was an honour – it is sheer proof that a team environment where respect, drive, focus and happiness is fostered undoubtably yields results.

Klaus Mueller, Kevin Tabotta, Paul Brosnan and the entire team of coaches and staff at Cycling Australia – thank you for building an ethos among us that has allowed me to take these opportunities and pave a way to live out my dream.

Thank you for your support in allowing womens road cycling in aus to reclaim world standard results.

To my wonderful friends & family who’ve whole heartedly, unconditionally & lovingly supported me the entire time, no doubt at times, insisting I am COMPLETELY mad.

So…. amazing people and whirlwind pathway. But easy? Well honestly? no…. I have encountered a wee bit of adversity along the way.

High speed faceplant down Passo Stelvio, pro teams folding on two occasions, fractured pelvis and being hit by a car in space of 18 months was not really the most optimal run of events.

I’ve been forced to ask myself the hard questions on several occasions – and thankfully been able to answer them with a mantra I’ve kept close to my heart, a Latin proverb that translates to ‘constant dripping wears away the stone’

So yes it did all start out in a national talent identification program and this was my ticket. However, the wonderful thing is that I was never told I was talented, never told I was great,
never served opportunity on a silver platter.

It instilled a firm philosophy to play the hand you’re delt, roll with the punches, and always know there’s someone who is suffering more adversity than you – grasp opportunity to embrace perspective.

That my friends is what I am truly grateful for. It has kept me honest, hungry, humble, teaching me to me rise to opportunity in any situation on and indeed off the pedals. These are the very ingredients i believe will equip me for the next chapter onward toward rio 2016.

Pulling on my Aussie kit in valkenburg that morning seven weeks ago was special, but racing up the cauberg in green & gold then seeing my flag raised before me with a silver medal round my neck was purely indescribable.

I have never been so proud to ride my bike, to inspire young women across australia, to stand in front of you this evening and to celebrate being at the forefront of a truly magnificent and magical sport that is wonderfully changing the lives of thousands of Australians at this very point in time.


31 / 10 / 2012

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ROAD RACE FINAL KMS


16 / 10 / 2012

AUSTRALIAN CYCLING EXECUTIVES - AN EXCITING NEW PARTNERSHIP

It was a pleasure to attend last Friday’s Australian Cycling Executives ‘Breakfast With The Bunch’ at Centennial Park in Sydney.

I was delighted to have the opportunity among a group of like minded people to share my story and indeed my passion for cycling. I thoroughly enjoyed the morning and thank all the ACE members for the wonderful embrace I received!!! I am proud to have consolidated my ambassadorship with ACE and look forward to sharing some of this fun, stimulating and dynamic company at the next


SBS CYCLING- CENTRAL POST RACE INTERVIEW


30 / 8 / 2012

AFTER AN INCREDIBLE WEEK... HERE IS AN ENORMOUS THANK YOU

his has truly been the most incredible week…. I have had some happy times in my life but nothing could have prepared me for this. Last Saturday I raced the World Championships and won the Silver Medal for Australia. The first women’s road worlds medal in seven years. I am completely honoured, proud and humbled by not only the opportunity to gain such a result and standing on that podium but by the overwhelming support, wishes and genuine happiness that has been flowing my way all week.

Specific thank you has to go to my team mates… Tiffany Cromwell, Gracie Elvin, Loren Rowney, Jessie Maclean, Shara Gillow and Amanda Spratt,  it was a team ride and the result is shared equally between us. It was a pleasure to race with a wonderful group of six women.

A HUGE thank you to my coach Tim Decker from SASI who has been integral to my development in many ways over the past few years, who knows the brilliant balance between the carrot and the stick and has never let me loose sight of my goals.

Secondly to Cycling Australia for their support and execution of the race… it could not have been more professional, calm and positively stimulating environment to race in.

Third, to all my partners for their long term support over the past few years every little bit on and off the bike goes a long way in helping to achieve optimal performance.

Last and by far not least to my dear family and friends… I am simply blown away by the love from everywhere… calls, text, email, Facebook. Skype, twitter… receiving reading them all has been quite an unbelievably humbling experience.

I am happy to have been able to share my journey so far with many people… so many steps along the way have been attributable to some amazing relationships I feel very fortunate to have made both before cycling and since beginning this thrilling sport. Multiple influences and lessons i’ve learned from many wonderful people came together last Saturday that enabled me to show how I can race a bike… I can’t wait for more, this is just the beginning!


25 / 8 / 2012

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SILVER FOR AUSTRALIA!!


14 / 8 / 2012

OFF TO REPRESENT AUSTRALIA - 2012 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Wow… elation and pride at the news of my selection, what amazing feelings, only to be superseded by completely humbling messages and well wishes from my wonderful family, supporters, friends and sponsors. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart…. This is my first worlds championships and a special milestone…. Miles away from where I was five years ago only just clipping in and on,y dreaming of such things. It’s huge honour among a competitive excelling field of Aussie women this season. 

Time now to focus on the result with teammates Tiffany Cromwell, Amanda Spratt, Gracie Elvin, Loren Rowney, Shara Gillow and Jess Maclean. We are at a team camp for a short time at the Aussie training base in Italy before traveling to the Netherlands for the race on Saturday 22nd September! I will play a key support role for our lead rider in the challenging hilly 129km race in Limberg, Netherlands http://www.limburg2012.nl 

My goal this year was a UCI podium and Australian worlds team selection… The past week has evidently produced both after my results in Tour Ardeche in France. Wearing my heart on my sleeve I’ll say this year has not been easy, a number of unfortunate circumstances on the team front have provided additional challenges, however The most amazing lesson learned is that my motto the Latin proverb “Gutta cavat lapidem – constant dripping wears away the stone” really does hold incredible truths….


3 / 7 / 2012

THE NEXT LITTLE WHILE...

June has been a month of recharging and rebuilding after a busy and travel hectic start to the year. A month light on racing it was a great opportunity to visit the mountains for some altitude training in the Italian alps and prepare for my next race Thuringen, Germany 16-22nd July. Having been June, sitting up at nearly 2000m, the daily weather is a lottery… snapshots may tell the story! Fortunately I didn’t quite have to convert to the skiis, and I’ve worked through what’s been a great training block.


3 / 7 / 2012

LAST LITTLE BIT...

I must begin with a few words about May…. after racing in three continents, thirteen race days and ten flights the month was a mirage of fly, race, recover all out of a tightly packed revolving suitcase. 

The final race Exergy Tour in Boise Idaho was an incredibly well organised and promoted event, full compliments to Exergy group and the event team Medalist. I was honestly a little disappointed with with my overall performance, missing my goal of top ten GC finish. However stage one 11th place and Stage 5 9th place were encouraging among the high standard of this UCI 2.1 race. I was honoured to have the full support of my Nutrixxion teammates to ride for these results and regret not delivering more!

After returning to Germany to deal with a body clock that didn’t know which way was clock, anti or mearly how to tick I was consoled find fields of luscious strawberries in full bloom. However, it was not long before the rain set in again… and it stayed of course for my next small but necessary local race in Dorsten. Another chilly and rainy race (solidly proven to be theme of 2012 so far) was on the cards again for this particular Sunday afternoon. I was challenged racing out of my comfort zone… rose and came second. A small victory but i counted it. The bright race flowers were a warm welcome after a very wet and clod day on the bike!


29 / 5 / 2012

MALLORCA IN MAY


14 / 5 / 2012

CHINA WORLD CUP

Yesterday was the final race in China, the World Cup. This race was the epitome of the Chinese particularity and organisation. Our bikes were boxed up separately at 5pm the evening before, in wooden cases and transported over to the race start in Shanghai.

On arrival we we’re greeted by a continuous ceremony of music, rollerblades, UCI flags… involving energetic above the head waving (of unidentifiable description) soft toys to top off the morning’s choreography.

As much as it was a little over the top it did make us feel very welcomed and proud that the Chinese are embracing women’s cycling…. perhaps as it should be on regular occasions in Europe?

Huge congrats to my ex teammate and good friend Shelley Olds on her win yesterday! Marlen our sprinter for whom we worked for scored a top ten finish which is a promising result for races to come.

Now begins the epic journey to the USA… via Germany!


12 / 5 / 2012

HEALTH.COM.AU

I am thrilled to have been given a recent opportunity to work with the exciting new Aussie health insurance venture to hit the market, health.com.au

I will be giving insights on their health blog, my first piece being released last week! 

Being a professional athlete, and a health professional I have happily continued to acquire a unique combination of sport, exercise and health science knowledge. Naturally I am passionate about sharing a collective mix of expertise and experience to inspire, inform and motivate change with relevant and simple health promotion concepts.

Health is a myriad of physical, mental, emotional, and lifestyle factors… there’s no one way, each persons health ‘pathway’ is unique. Empowerment through knowledge is the key to unlocking your body’s complete health potential. My philosophy is that health can be attained through seeking information, becoming inspired and discovering the intrinsic motivation for vital lifestyle practices that lead to one’s optimal health. 

I enjoy informing, inspiring and empowering others to find their own ‘pathway’ way of living a healthy life… through experiences, factual knowledge or simply sharing thoughts this blog will inspire education and discussion around a diverse collection of health topics. 

Looking forward to sharing more with you via health.com.au shortly…


11 / 5 / 2012

CHINA #3

So the tour finished today with a strong performance by GreenEdge taking the win…. Congrats girls!
As a small team of 4 we raced hard together, present in the aggressive moves both yesterday and today and did our best to get a top ten position finish. Wasn’t to be but it’s encouraging moving forward,

Here are a few snapshots among the few; enjoying life on tour without pasta every meal, Imported Aussie goodness for breakfast, the four of us relaxing pre race, Marlen set to drag race, friendly smiles and the completely infatuated locals seeing bike racing for the first time!


8 / 5 / 2012

CHINA #2

I like China. The last time I was here in China it was actually in 2008 for the Beijing Olympics. As a spectator it was one of the most unbelievable two weeks I’ve ever experienced – i’ve carried fond memories and inspiration with me the past four years. I never expected i’d be back in such time racing a world cup on a bike. 

There is a lot I appreciate about the Chinese – people, philosophy and most infatuating is the cultural diversity even within one 10km stretch of a city (honestly itching to exit the hotel and explore but I’ve remained behaved & well rested for tomorrow!).

The delivery of the opening welcome speech this evening’s welcome dinner was one with sincerity and pride that they could successfully draw professional athletes from the global stage and showcase this small island to the world. This is an encouraging example of an extremely well organized race in our sport, that is increasingly looking for visibility in the global sports market. 

For them this is a big event – four race books, billboards, accreditation tags, banners and roadside flags. The volunteers and locals don’t stop smiling and are most happily sharing their roads with us. Exhibited profoundly this morning with the guy on his scooter whizzing past our bunch of eight girls squatting in the roadside grass taking a pee stop in a small street – it didn’t him from belting a huge ‘HELLOOO…. WELCOMEEEE’!

Our Team Nutrixxion is only four…. Anna, Dani, Marlen and I. My fellow countrywomen Emma and Belinda unfortunately didn’t win the extraordinarily difficult battle to get a visa in Europe. I on the other hand have the grand old Patrick Neylan from the Emerald Isle to thank for that. 

Whilst its a pancake flat course it’s my turn to work for the team result… and a hard race is also a hard race. In any pro team its often necessary to participate races in those other than ones particularly suited to your own strengths. 

Aside from focusing on the upcoming racing challenges I’m having fun with two of my teammates while they enjoy many discoveries on their debut trip to China (and 21 year old Anna’s first to Asia!) Daily new food safaris and of course the mandatory chopsticks lessons have been quite the entertainment.


7 / 5 /2012

CHINA

We arrived in China this afternoon…. greeted with flowers and five chaperones we were whisked away in a big blue bus straight to the nearby Chongming island home of the UCI Tour of Chongming Island & World Cup The best way to cure a little travel fatigue is to jump straight on the bike to spin the legs over – needless to say it was just a spin dodging stray dogs, cargo bikes and tiny cc scooters (offer with a smiling kid propped up on the back).

Pleasantly reminded first hand what I appreciate about the Chinese – hard working, polite, calm, proud and gracious as our every need is tended to. 

In the midst of packing for the month away & adhering to travel logistics I failed to consider the lack of Facebook and twitter we’d have in this week being under the communist governments extensive web censorship so this will suffice as my connection to the world for this week… 

Happy to be here doing the same thing I love but in a completely different world… enjoy the stories 


5 / 5 / 2012

RACE UPDATE

The Majorca training block paid off with some good form in Luxembourg last weekend. Whilst i made some mistakes that cost me in a final result (16th in the Saturday stage, 19th Overall) I was happy with my feelings in the race and to be up at the pointy end is promising for more hilly races to come. It was a real honour to be supported by my teammates Emma, Belinda, Anna, Marlen and Dani they did an awesome job!

May is set to be a big moth with two tours both outside Europe!

May 9-13 Tour of Chongming Island & World Cup 

May 24-29 Exergy Tour, Boise Idaho


22 / 4 / 2012

MAGIC MARJORCA

Two weeks between races, an ominous weather forecast for Germany and short cheap flight was enough to make a quick decision to Majorca (one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean sea) for a solid little training block prior to my next race in Luxembourg.

I had a lucky into from my sports director to a former Nutrixxion team rider running a cycling stay business www.ma-13.net here on the island so have had the perfect introduction to the Spanish mecca for cycling. After less than a week on the island its obvious why cyclists flock here – climate, superior road quality, diversity of terrain, coastal mountains and beaches make it the perfect place for cycling training.

Eyes wide open to small ‘maze’ like village roads, local farmers markets, heart warming locals, Mediterranean cliff faces and Saturday afternoon cultural village surprises outside the front door have made my time here so far a bit of an April treat worlds away from the past weeks full of windswept chilly roads of the Netherlands!

Among the sweat and fatigue of a tough training block theres nothing like experiencing and discovering a new place in the world…


31 / 3 / 2012

A NEW START WITH NUTRIXXION

A few snaps from week one with Abus Nutrixxion… currently I’m based in Dortmund Germany getting settled with the new team. 

My first week included a few short trips – a full bike biomechanic set up in nearby Cologne www.staps-online.com and to my friends at SRM headquarters also in nearby Julich.

And… a slightly longer trip to my first European race and World Cup in Italy last Sunday.

Its been quite a busy time attending to just a few ‘new’ aspects of life – bikes, weather, training roads, apartment, lycra wardrobe… and not to mention importantly the placement of my ponytail in my new Abus helmet! There have also been a few ‘different’ things… namely the German coffee, I’ll say no more!


30 / 3 / 2012

2012 WHEELS - CORRATEC CCT TEAM

My 2012 team Abus Nutrixxion have a great partnership with the German made Corratec bikes. So far I can confidently report my Corratec CCT Team is light, stiff with a comfortable geometry for hard and technical European racing. It’s been a fun week getting to know my new wheels and very much enjoying the ride so far!

See my Corratec CCT TEAM DURA ACE specs here

I’ve completed my bike with the all essential SRM powermeter, a beautiful big thanks to SRM for their ongoing support, my SRM is the cornerstone of my training and performance preparation!


29 / 3 / 2012

SPORTING A LITTLE AUSTRALIAN SOUL WITH BAUSELE

I am thrilled to speak about a new partnership with BAUSELE, the first Swiss made time pieces for the Australian market.

“The BAUSELE concept is unique and is to become the iconic watch of the Australian young at hearts who share the same passion for surfing, sailing, meeting friends and share this unique quality of life.”
— Bausele

I am proud, passionate and sentimental about Australia. I love the concept of taking the heart and soul of Australian elements with me wherever I go. BAUSELE gives a little tribute to Australia on his or her own wrist – the designer has physically captured natural elements such as grains of sand from Bondi beach, black coal and red earth from the Outback and incorporated them into the crown of each watch.

I love representing new brands / companies who share a like minded ethos – Bausele couldn’t be closer with a credo centred around exhibiting the heart and soul of Australian elements in a unique and passionate way. I received my piece here in Germany this morning… happy girl!


16 / 3 / 2012

FIRST STOP OCEANIA ROAD RACE

One of the first moments i’ve had to write a note… after successfully completing a great pre departure ‘to do list’ I am NZ again and ready to race the Oceania Road Championships tomorrow.

This time I’m on the South Island and as a first time visitor I am pleasantly amazed by my beautiful surroundings here in and around Queenstown – a little chilly and a contrast from the 34 degree day I left Adealide, however its providing a nice transition to the current European climate.

The race is 4 laps of a 25km circuit just outside Queenstown


16 / 3 /2012

PACKED & READY FOR EUROPE

Its been a hectic time in Adealide sandwiched between these two NZ racing trips. Of course being a professional road cyclist involved 7 months of the year racing in Europe – the heart of the action and the true home of cycling where the majority of the UCI races are held.

This involves, to put it bluntly for me at this stage of my career, a moderately nomadic way of life with the necessity to pack up my belongings every 6 months, pack it into a few cubic metres and store it away.

The luxury of having ‘home’ in Aus and Europe is still an ambition away… but for now the storage unit will suffice! Huge thanks to Adelaide local business www.ustoreit.com.au for their kind support and making my life a breeze this time around

One of the toughest things is saying goodbye to the luxury of a wardrobe but the best I can do is give it some ‘air tight’ love – space bags are my new best friend!


6 / 3 / 2012

WOMENS TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND (MARK GUNTER PHOTOGRAPHY)


23 / 2 / 2012

STAGE 2 TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND 

Today’s live SRM telemetry data here!

Today’s 137k stage was filled with rain, crashes and cross winds. I was happy to safely finish in a bunch sprint final and remain 7th on GC. 

USA dominated the race and kept the yellow. Big congrats to young neo pro Loren Rowney on her first UCI stage win!

results here!


23 / 2 / 2012

LIVE SRM DATA TRACKING AT TOUR OF NZ

Using my SRM powermeter (www.srm.de) and the new mapmytracks.com online program you can follow my racing at the Tour of NZ… LIVE… just visit this link --> http://www.mapmytracks.com/Rachel%20Neylan

My SRM collects power, HR, distance, speed, cadence and altitude while the telemetry device (carried on my bike) feeds it to the website combining it with GPS data to give the complete picture!


18 / 2 / 2012

ON THE ROAD AGAIN!!

Monday signals the beginning of life in the road for 2012… 

After a blissful and rare 6 weeks without venturing into an airport, I’ve enjoyed a great block of training preparation in Adelaide since National champs. 

Excited and ready, I will begin the season across the Tasman at the Women’s tour on NZ. I will be racing on a composite team for the UCI 2.2 category race.

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights. ”

— Muhammad Ali


12 / 1 / 2012

2012 ROAD NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS



9 / 1 / 2012

ABUS NUTRIXXIO FOR 2012

I am happy to be writing about my plans for the 2012 European season… as the new colours I sported during Saturday’s National Road Championships suggest, I have signed a 2012 contract with professional UCI team Abus Nutrition

It was a fantastic feeling to be able to represent Abus Nutrixxion with a podium performance in my first race in the bright new attire. I am very much looking forward to a new year of opportunity with the German based outfit, a team international riders including fellow Aussies Belinda Goss and Emma Mackie.


8 / 1 / 2012

STEPPING UP - A DEBUT PODIUM AT AUSSIE NATIONAL CHAMPS!

Yesterday was one of the most important races on my calendar, the Australian National Championships, staged at Mt Bunninyong in Victoria where the prestigious Green and Gold jersey is up for grabs. 

I raced to the best of my ability physically and tactically and landed with a podium finish and the Bronze medal, extremely happy with the result. Congrats to Green Edge’s team racing especially Amanda Spratt on a great ride to take the title and Tiff Cromwell on Silver.

I’d had a big few months of preparation leading into this race and was extremely focused and motivated training in Adelaide under Tim Decker, SASI, whom I have to thank for investing time, inspiration and passion into his coaching.

Huge thanks to my sponsors friends, family for your invaluable and ongoing belief and support.I am happy to start the year on the podium and looking forward to the 2012 season in Europe!