National cycling charity CTC have put together a brand new, women-only elite cycling team, to help promote cycling and encourage girls to get on their bikes. The team will be racing both in the UK and abroad, as well as acting as cycling ambassadors, encouraging young women to get on their bikes as part of an active lifestyle. We chatted to girl racer Lydia Boylan about training, competing and chocolate addictions.
What made you want to be part of the CTC women’s cycling team?
As I work full time, it can be difficult to find a balance between work and cycling. Racing is still essentially my hobby so I have to make it fit around work, but I had some really good results last year and I want to push things further, which means racing internationally. Being part of Team CTC is a fantastic opportunity and it’s great to be in a like-minded group of girls. We’re all looking for a chance to step up our racing, and it’s also an amazing chance to promote women’s cycling and racing in the UK.
Which event in the coming year are you most excited to compete in?
The girls and I will be heading to some pro-level races on the continent this year. I’m very excited for these races as they will be a really big challenge. Hopefully all the training I do will pay off, and I’ll be able to keep up with the pros! My big aim for the year is to try and get a medal at the Irish National Road Race, as I came 4th last year.
What advice would you give to young women keen to get into competitive cycling?
My advice would probably get in touch with other girls who race…Facebook and Twitter make this so easy. We’re a pretty friendly bunch and always happy to help out.
How do you train for races, and keep fit in general?
I have a coach who puts me through my paces! I do a lot of sessions on indoor trainers during the week after work and then a few hours each day outside on the weekend.
Do you do any other sports, and do you find that they help your cycling fitness?
I’ve always been sporty, and I’m a big fan of yacht racing and volleyball. Growing up, I played basketball, tennis, pretty much any sport I could! But now my cycle training and racing takes up a lot of my time, so I can’t fit much else in.
Do you keep to a strict training diet?
I’m definitely not strict when it comes to my diet…I like chocolate too much! My main meals are healthy and I never leave the house in the morning without a good breakfast. But I have a massive sweet tooth that I just can’t say no to!
What do you like to do to unwind?
Legs up with a good movie!
Where is your favourite place in the world to ride?
I rode in the Rhone Alps last summer and it was just spectacular, the scenery was breathtaking. But to be honest, as long as I have good company and sunshine I’m pretty happy.