SELF-MADE COMPETITOR. Ever since she profited from support of the renowned Amy Gillett Foundation in Australia to start racing in Europe at Italy’s Pasta Zara outfit, Rachel has made part of German (Abus), Scandinavian (Hitec) and Australian (three years in Orica) squads before joining the Movistar Team. Resident in Tuscany (Italy), she’s a really solid, consistent rider in all terrains, and success is paying back all those efforts lately: she won the Cadel Evans Road Race in 2015 and notched up the Trophée d’Or GC and the GP Morbihan classic in 2016.
A BRILLIANT SATURDAY IN VALKENBURG. She made it into the decisive, five-rider escape; broke the group into the final ascent to the Cauberg; and only an unstoppable Marianne Vos prevented her from winning what is arguably her best race so far as a professional. The end result: a silver medal in the World Championships’ road race in Valkenburg (2012), after breaking her pelvis twice in only one year. “They always say your darkest hour is just before the dawn and I worked really hard to recover and bounce back. There was no other option other than to just make it happen.”
A GREAT MENTOR. Ever since she met her team-mates at the team’s pre-season meeting in Pamplona (Spain), she’s become a guide and exceptional support to the younger members of this new group. Aged 35 and with four Worlds appearances and an Olympic road race cap to her account -she finished 22nd in Rio 2016-, as well as lots of other races in Europe, Australia and even China, Neylan is in the highest morale level of her career and ready to pass on her passion and knowledge of the sport to this young generation of Spanish riders.
Neylan has only 10 years of competitive bike racing experience on her shoulders after having taken up athletics as a youngster, obtained a degree in Physiotherapy and tried rowing, triathlon and running while working as a physio for the Australian national rowing team. It wasn’t until 2007 when she took a bold decision to seek for support from the developing program of the South Australian Institute of Sport, and started a successful career which now lands in the Movistar Team.