Video: Brilliant Lydia Boylan scorches to World Champs silver

Posted on: March 3rd, 2019

Lydia Boylan Worlds medal

Lydia Boylan has taken a silver medal at the World Track Championships in Poland. She adds that to the silver she took at the Europeans in the madison event two years ago (All photos by Guy Swarbrick)

 

Perhaps the best female cyclist Ireland has ever produced, Lydia Boylan has taken her second major championships medal in Poland this afternoon.

But this time it was on the very biggest stage, at the World Track Championships.

Boylan claimed her silver in the points race, the same event that saw Mark Downey take bronze for Ireland on Friday.

It’s not the first time Boylan has been to the podium. She took silver in the madison two years ago at the Europeans with Lydia Gurley.

But there’s nothing quite like the Worlds. And now Boylan has really hit the big time with a medal for herself and her country.

She’s a former three-time winner of the national road race crown; first claiming it in 2015 and then doing so the following two years.

Her best result, and the best ever by an Irish woman on the road, came three years ago. She claimed the final stage of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana.

And now with medals at both the Worlds and Europeans; her palmares are those of a truly world class athlete.

Today she was stunned and delighted to have won. She was in contention for the title, indeed leading the race, until the final sprint.

However, in the end she came away with silver and she did it in some style; setting out her stall early.

She claimed a sprint then gained a lap with Russian rider Gulnaz Badykova. They were two of only four women to gain a lap during the race.

Boylan went into the final sprint, at the end of the race when more points are available, in the gold medal position.

However, following her earlier efforts her legs were perhaps sapped a little. And when Australian Alexandra Manly managed to take 3rd in that sprint, she got three points.

That was enough to put her just one point ahead of Lydia Boylan and secured for her the rainbow bands.

Boylan didn’t score in the final sprint. It was won by Dutch six-time world champion and four-time European champion Kirsten Wild.

However, despite the 10 points Wild got for that, Boylan had done enough earlier in the race to hold her off.

The final standings put Manly on 29 points, Boylan on 28 and Wild on 26; the latter taking bronze and her 25th medal at a track worlds or Europeans.

But from an Irish perspective the day belonged to Boylan; a great servant in the Irish jersey and one who has now really delivered on the big stage.

More to follow.

 

 

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