With the great news that Jessica Allen has resigned with Orica-Scott for another season, Glenn Te Raki spoke to her about what her plans are for the remainder of this year and next year.
The 24-year-old has already achieved so much after turning pro last year, including winning the Australia Criterium Championships and taking second in the Mitchelton Bay Cycling event including a win on stage three.
In this interview below, Allen details how her injury in the middle of the year derailed her season, what it is like to be part of Orica-Scott and which races are on the cards for her in WA.
Allen will be an ambassador for the 2017/2018 Ring Summer Criterium series.
Glenn Te Raki (GT): Great to have you home Jess, how was the 2017 season for you?
Jess Allen (JA): Hey Glenn, 2017 was a great season for me. I started off really strong in January winning the National Criterium which was a bit of a surprise and I carried my form into the Belgium Spring Classics. This was by far my best season on the bike and although I didn’t get any wins, I stepped up a level and was able to support our team leaders to help them win races.
GT: I know you injured yourself earlier in the year, what happened there and how have you recovered?
JA: I was selected to race with women’s Giro Rosa in July so I was training really hard over May and June to be in peak condition for the 10-day tour. I was doing a lot of climbing and fast descending and 10 days before the tour I took a corner too quick and washed out hard. Unfortunately, I fractured my left scapula (shoulder blade) and couldn’t race the Giro. I took a week off the bike then had 4 weeks of double ergo days and a lot of gym to keep my fitness and strength up. I was able to come back really strong for our last tour of the year, Boels Rental Ladies Tour and help support our team leader Annemiek Van Vlueten who won the tour.
GT: Congratulations on re-signing with Orica – Scott, that must be pleasing for you knowing how 2018 will look, have you had time to look at setting any goals for 2018?
JA: Thank you. I was super excited to sign with Orica-Scott for another year. I’ll be targeting the Australian Summer of racing again as well as the Spring Classics. The Giro is another event I’d like to be in top form for with our team goal being to win the event.
GT: The Orica – Scott women’s team seems very close knit looking in from the outside, is that the feel from with-in as well?
JA: It sure is. Orica-Scott is a family away from home for me. We all have huge amounts of respect for each other and everyone is willing to work their hardest for the team in races. We have a really good relationship with our staff too which is super important. We all love a good time but can switch it off and be serious when we need to be too. It’s a really great environment to be in.
GT: How does the Summer look for you? Will we see you at any of the local Ring Series Criterium events?
JA: I’ve just come off a three week break so I will slowly be building up the volume and intensity in my training over the next 6 weeks. I am racing a UCI event in China in a couple of weeks (which will hurt) but other than that I will be racing the Tour or Margaret River and Brownie’s Super Crit in November and then start racing the Ring Summer Criterium Series in December. I’m really looking forward to being an Ambassador for the series again.
GT: Jess, thanks for taking some time to talk to us all, you have many fans here in WA and we wish you all the best for the coming season –
JA: Thanks Glenn, I appreciate the support from all the WA fans and CycleSport WA.