Minerva wings

Rachel Neylan

As a wide eyed eight year old, Ryde little Athletics Club in Sydney Rachel fast became innately in love with sport and the quest for optimal physical performance. Her passion was cemented, never winning races but persistent and determined to make her opportunities flourish.

Rachel discovered early on that dedication and hard work yields reward. Applying the same diligence to study, she launched from high school into a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physiotherapy and began a Sports Physio Career in Sydney four years later.

An increasing mismatch was becoming apparent between work ethic and results in her beloved pursuit of running around an athletic track.

With the urge to satisfy those innate desires, Rachel began the hunt to find her true physiological match, a sport better suited to her body's capabilities. Rachel exhausted her professional networks in sports science to underpin her search.

Rachel took up rowing for 14 months, dabbled in triathlon and attempted a running comeback. In August 2007, 25 years old as Australian Rowing Team physio she resonated with increasing strength to the athletes she worked with.

A fateful google search led her ambitious eyes toward a Women’s Cycling Talent ID program at the South Australian Sports Institute. In a bold leap of faith Rachel relocated from Sydney to Adelaide and began training, effective immediately. Full of passion and desire she jumped in the deep end, having never raced a bicycle!

Rachel's rookie years were self-driven and adversity stacked, building an immovable foundation of resilience. The words ‘Gutta Cavat Lapidem’ echoed through every challenge ‘Constant dripping wears away the stone’ became her core philosophy, sheer persistence fuelled her trajectory.

In September 2012, just five years after throwing herself into the world of elite cycling Rachel stood on the World Championships Podium with a Silver medal for Australia.

Having missed out on the London Olympics she was fixed and focused on the road to Rio,  gathering everything she had to create the optimal performance network including relocation to NSWIS working with Bradley McGee.

Returning to the Green and Gold, her world championships ride and solo breakaway in Ponferrada 2014 was a career highlight. Rachel signed with Orica-Scott in March 2015 after winning the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. She celebrated her return to the podium after a rollercoaster of successive challenges.

Standing on top of the podium winning UCI tour Trophee D'or in August 2015 was a special and sentimental first ever European victory. Rachel raced in the World Championships a month later in Richmond, USA.

It was an energetic 2016 summer, 3rd at Nationals, 2nd at Cadel Evans Road Race. A win at the UCI GP Plumelec in May 2016 reinforced her Rio campaign.

In August 2016 Rachel raced in the green and gold for Australia at the Rio Olympic Games. A truly indescribable feeling of elation and pride, a childhood dream became reality.

Shaping her drive and resilience into athletic excellence is both a joy and a privilege. Rachel continues to challenge heights of this athletic quest balanced with purpose, passion, energy and enthusiasm.

Rachel is truly relishing each minute of representing Australia on the world stage and absolutely loves sharing the journey with others.

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