Rachel Neylan, member of the Australian Women’s Road Cycling Team is headed for the GP Ciudad de Valladolid in Spain this weekend, it is the 6th installment of the UCI Women’s World Cup. The Aussie Women’s team will field 5 women riding Bianchi T Cube 928.
The course is 129.8km, it’s out and back instead of the normal circuit styled course that’s seen in most Women’s World Cup races. There are undulations and some quick sharp climbs; we are prepared for a tough race but it is likely that without long climbs it could come down to a sprint for the finish.
Rachel sat down and answered a few questions for Rowena Scott for Bicycles Network Australia about the upcoming event, the Australian Women’s team and her preparation; it’s fair to say that this cyclist is motivated and ready to ride!
BNA: Tell me about the preparation that you’ve done for the Women’s World Cup?
I have had a fantastic 3 weeks of preparation – mentally and physically I’ve recovered from a lot of racing and travel in April. I’ve had a small break from racing and have really enjoying a solid training block in Lucca, Toscana. Specifically, I have been working on strength and power climbing but also maximizing my power on the flat. I have also maintained some volume in preparing for the Giro in July.
BNA: This is your 1st year riding the event what expectations do you have of yourself?
This is my first season in Europe and my 4th World Cup race of the season and I am proud to start in the Green and Gold. I understand the requirements of a hard one day race – preparing mentally and physically to get the most out of yourself and push your body beyond where you think you can go. It all goes on the line and when there is nothing left in the tank at the end I’m happy.
BNA: Can you tell us about the course and the sort of rider it will suit?
The course is new and never been raced before, it is out and back as opposed to the normal Women’s World Cup ‘circuit’ style so this could possibly make for some potentially different racing. From the reports and profile it is undulating with some short sharp power climbs, this can always suit a breakaway to stay but without tough longer climbs will more than likely end in a bunch sprint.
BNA: Have you been able to have preparation time with the Australian Women’s team and what was that preparation?
I arrived at the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) cycling base in Castronno, Varese, to join the girls on Monday – this has given me time to settle in with the team and most importantly time to ride together. This week has involved some tough motor pacing and power climb efforts but most importantly rest and recovery.
BNA: Most teams ride for one or two specific riders is this the case in the Australian Women’s team?
Yes we will have a team plan that is devised, but of course not to be spoken about publicly before the day.
BNA: Who will you be riding with and what are their roles?
The riders are Amanda Spratt, Carlee Taylor, Tiffany Cromwell, Lisa Jacobs and I. Our roles will be devised and spoken about on Saturday in our pre race meeting once we arrive in Spain.
BNA: What can you tell me about your bike set up for this event? Any special gearings, ratio’s or wheels?
We are all racing Bianchi T Cube 928 with Shimano Dura Ace, Celeste of course! We will ride with Dura Ace carbon wheels and no special gearing just standard 53/39 front chain rings and 12/25 rear.
BNA: How are you feeling going into the race?
Feeling very positive, physically strong, excited, motivated and ready to step up!
Bicycles Network Australia would like to thank Rachel for her time and wish the Australian Women’s Road Team some great racing weather, we look forward to catching up with Rachel after the race to find out exactly what unfolded and more about those tactics! Rachel also keeps her fans up-to-date on her blog: www.rachelneylan.com