Niskayuna’s Evan Boyle keeps adding sports to his repertoire – and he found rapid success in his latest effort.
Boyle, 17, a junior from Niskayuna High School, is already a member of the men’s soccer and swim teams. It’s an individual sport, however, that moves Boyle up a ladder that usually takes a while. Boyle is making a name for himself as a racing cyclist.
Boyle had injured his ankle while playing football a few months before interscholastic sports shut down in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Once he was deemed safe to get out and rehabilitate his ankle, he started cycling.
“When the Capital Bicycle Racing Club started having them again, I went on a few club rides and a lot of guys there wanted me to try racing, so I did,” Boyle said. .
Early on, Boyle rode a few time trials — less than 30 miles — along the Mohawk River in July 2020.
“I did pretty well, not outstanding,” he said.
But he was not afraid of the idea that if he wanted to progress in the sport, it would require him to pedal longer distances.
“I had done longer outings but never raced them; just to get an idea,” he said.
In 2021, he got a bit more serious about it, running 11 times from early March to early September. He won the Junior Boys 15-18 division at the Tour of the Battenkill in Washington County in June, as well as the Bloomfield Classic in the Junior Boys 17-18 category in July. He capped off that year with an appearance in the four-day Green Mountain Stage Race in Mad River Valley, Vermont. There he placed in the top 20 in the time trial, circuit race and road race.
Last winter, he decided to get even more serious by working with CBRC coach Andy Ruiz.
“Last year I gave him mentoring, not coaching,” Ruiz said. “During the winter, he embarked on a full cycling program, so I agreed to coach him. He takes the programs and workouts and can do them on his bike computer. He also follows a daily nutrition plan. He trains six days a week and runs two to four times a month now.
This spring, Boyle started with a return to the two-race Trooper Brinkerhoff Memorial Race series in Coxsackie, where he placed 43rd and 26th in men’s classes 3 and 4 last year.
For road and track races, grouping starts at category 5 and goes up to category 1. If a certain race does not offer a lower category, riders can choose to compete in the nearest higher category of their abilities.
This year, competing in the 4-5 class on April 9 and 23, he won both Trooper Brinkerhoff races. Set at 40 miles, he won the first race in 1 hour, 31 minutes, 49 seconds, beating the second by more than two and a half minutes. The second he won in 1:31.57, with a gap of 32 seconds on the second.
“Conditions were totally bad the first time around: 40 degrees and pouring rain,” Boyle said. “I’m no stranger to aggressive tactics, so I attacked quite early in race one, took the lead and rode on my own for about a little over an hour.
“I wanted it to work the second time around, but everyone knew what I would try to do,” Boyle added. “So I kept attacking and attacking, but I was never able to advance. But I finally got away in the last 20 minutes. It’s useful to do different runs differently.
Although still technically a junior rider, Boyle earned enough points from those wins to race adults in Category 3. He did so in the 68-mile Hatfield. [Massachusetts] Road race on April 30, where he placed eighth out of 19 in 2 hours, 29 minutes, 59 seconds, but just three seconds behind the winner as a large group battled for victory.
Boyle originally planned to take the SAT on May 7, but instead bypassed it to play in the 17-18 New York State Junior Championship at Stony Point near Bear Mountain. It was a 42 1/2 mile race that Boyle described as “very hilly”, but he won it in 1 hour, 51 minutes, 38 seconds with a margin of victory of 7 minutes, 8 seconds.
“It was a pretty comfortable lead,” Boyle said. “I came in feeling pretty good and strong. I knew that as long as I didn’t collapse, I would have a good opportunity.
Boyle having added cycling to his running and swimming skills, he likes the idea of competing in triathlons, but most of those that still occur require competitors to be 18 years old.
Until then, he intends to improve as a cyclist. First there is a stage race over Memorial Day weekend at Killington Mountain in Vermont. Next, he plans to compete in the U.S. National Junior Cycling Championships from July 26 to August 26. 1 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
“In August there are a few races in Canada,” Boyle said. “Maybe if it goes really well I could even do a few in Europe.”
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