(Photo from Birkenhead North End CC)

Rachel Heal (born 1st April 1973, Bebington, Wirral) is an international racing cyclist, who won a bronze medal at the Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games road race, and competed in the 2004 Olympics road race in Athens, coming 22nd. She also came 2nd in the British National Road Race Championships, 2002-05, and won stages of the Gracia Orlova Tour (2002) and the Tour de l'Aude (2004).

Rachel began cycling whilst studying Chemical Engineering at Birmingham University, as a means of transport. In 1997 she joined the Birkenhead North End Cycling Club. She performed well at time trials, but on switching to road-racing, she found herself being dropped out of races and being lapped. By 2000 she had improved sufficiently to gain consistent placings in the Jo Bruton National Series races, and in 2001 was offered a place on British Cycling's hugely successful World Class Performance Plan.

In 2001 Rachel left her job as Project Engineer at Cadbury's and became a full-time cyclist on the Great Britain National Team. After three years on Team GB she moved on to the professional Dutch team Farm Frites-Hartol. In 2005 she moved on to Danish team SATS, and in 2006 took a step up to become the team leader of American team Victory Brewing, and rode her first full season of racing. In 2007 she moved to American team Webcor.

Sourced from www.RachelHeal.com