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.

A pivotal step in her career, Rachel's first big race win followed, taking out the 2015 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Race.
In August 2016 Rachel represented 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 for Rachel. She is extremely humbled and proud having carved out a career as a Professional Road Cyclist spanning over ten years with victories and podium places in European UCI races, National Championship podiums and representing Australia at six World Championships.

Today Rachel continues with the same curious and energetic mindset, challenged with the process to uncover her optimal athletic potential. As she delves into the twilight stage of her career Rachel is lead by a strong purpose, passion and enthusiasm in all she does. Rachel is truly relishing each minute of representing Australia on the world stage and absolutely love sharing the journey.

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