Battered Boylan survives late scares as her reputation grows

Posted on: September 12th, 2016

Lydia Boylan takes the strain on Mount Leinster on her way to 2nd overall at Rás na mBan. She endured a dangerous final stage and a bad crash in the criterium (Photo: Sean Rowe)


By Shane Stokes

Irish road race champion Lydia Boylan had a nervous time on the final stage of the An Post Ras na mBan on Sunday, feeling below par due to the after effects of her crash yesterday evening and going close to losing her second place overall.

“I was the second rider down,” she explained to stickybottle of Saturday’s crash immediately after the finish of yesterday’s final stage.

“I was right on the wheel of the girl. I hit the deck pretty hard and then had about four waves of people come on top of me.

“So actually most of the damage was done from people landing on me. I am feeling it today.

“My legs are all right but my back was a bit affected. So riding out of the saddle is hard.


Boylan was showing the scars of battle at the final stage yesterday having been one of the fallers in the criterium the previous evening (Photo: Sean Rowe)


“The late night at A&E didn’t help recovery. I was just tired and out of sorts this morning. I couldn’t keep the power down on the climb.

“I was just hoping for the best and panicked a bit when I ended up in that second group.”

Riding with a bandage on her arm, Boylan was put under pressure on the day’s sole categorised climb, the cat 1 Woodstock.

She consequently missed out the seven-woman move which went clear very soon afterwards.

Race leader Rikke Lonne (Team Crescent Dare), Marieke Kerkvliet (WV Breda Manieu.NL-Ladiesteam), Stine Borgli (Bryne CK Ladies Elite), Ida Erngren (Team Crescent Dare), Nina Buijsman (Regioteam Holland 2) and Boylan’s Team WNT teammates Eileen Roe and Natalie Grinczer were part of the same break.

The WNT duo held back in the escape, aiming to ensure that the gap didn’t grow too big and threaten Boylan’s second place overall.

Behind, Boylan was doing what she could to keep things under control.


Boylan has been national road champion for the last two years and can now take her place as one of Ireland’s best ever riders, with hopefully plenty more to come (Photo: Lorraine O’Sullivan)


“I worked really hard to keep that gap at a minute. I knew I had two teammates up there. It was a good scenario for the team but I just didn’t want to lose second,” she said.

“So we were riding to keep that gap as small as we could. I think it was less than a minute in the end, so I think that was good enough for me to keep second.”

Indeed it was, with Kerkvliet missing out on the runner-up slot by 26 seconds.

“It was a bit of a panic day, but we got everything we wanted out of today…that is for sure,” Boylan said.

“I kept second, we won the team GC as well, and Eileen got the stage.”

Like Roe, Boylan was clear in her praise for the event.

“I think Rás na mBan is always a fantastic race; so well organised and just great racing from start to finish.

“The racers really take it on. That was shown by a 100 kilometre break on the queen stage.

“Everyone just looks for opportunities and races really hard, so it is always a really fun race.”

It’s also one that suits her well.

“I think I always come here with confidence. The Rás has always been really good to me.

“I have been lucky to be on some really good teams the years I have ridden. Helping Olivia [Dillon] to the win a couple of years ago was probably one of my best race memories, to be honest.

“I love coming back to this race, I always come back with confidence and know that I can ride well.”