Insider with: Jess AllenFri 9 Sep 2016
As we work our way through the ORICA-AIS team, next up is 23-year-old Jess Allen from Perth.
Allen joined the Australian outfit mid-way through the 2016 season and instantly settled into the professional peloton and the team.
The 23-year-old won the junior world time trial in 2011 and has been improving at a rapid rate since, displaying great determination and motivation in each and every race this season with ORICA-AIS.
Get to know more about the young Australian:
Do you have any fun/ weird facts about yourself?
“I like to headstand daily, I’m generally early for everything, I don’t like coffee and I make the best raspberry and white chocolate muffins.”
What's the funniest thing that has happened this year?
“In the WorldTour race Vargarda, Sarah Roy, Alex Manly and I flew from Milan to Copenhagen to meet Russ (Soigner) who flew from Brussels to Copenhagen, he hired a car and started driving us to Sweden. Once we got to the Swedish border we were pulled over and asked to show our passports.
“Everyone had their passport, except Russ who left his in Ghent, he didn’t get asked to show it in customs and managed to fly from Brussels to Copenhagen without it.
“The Swedish border security were not impressed and we had to get police escort back into Denmark, leave Russ there and drive ourselves to Sweden. Russ also managed to leave his visa and driver’s license in the car we had so he was stuck in Copenhagen until we finished racing.”
What are your goals for the rest of the season/next year?
“My goal for the rest of the season is to ride stronger and smarter each race for ORICA-AIS and hopefully get a contract with the team for 2017.”
Which was your best race so far this season?
“Flèche Wallone was probably my best race as I spent 100kilometres in the breakaway and the atmosphere was unreal.
“Three other WorldTour races - La Course, Prudential RideLondon and Vargarda - were also some of my best races. I worked really well for the team and I loved the atmosphere and hype around them.”
What's the worst thing that's happened in a race this year?
“When I missed the split in Ghent Wevelgem and when Western Australia didn’t get race coverage of La Course.”
Which race were you most nervous about?
“Tour de Féminin as it was my first race with ORICA-AIS.”
Who influences you the most at races?
“Gene Bates and pretty much all my team mates as they are more experienced than me so I am always learning from them.”
What is the first thing you will do after your final race this season?
“My last race is Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta on the 11th of September so I’ll probably have a nice Spanish Sangria in celebration. I’ll then fly back to Italy and frantically pack to fly back to Perth on the 13th.”
What do your miss most being away from home?
“My family, sunsets at the beach with Callum, my friends, my dog, my yoga teacher, Sunday night dinner at the Lyons’ and chai lattes.”
What is your favourite meal, music, interest?
“My favourite meal would be lamb shanks and mashed garlic potato. I like any type of music except doof doof rubbish. I also really enjoy yoga, art and baking.”
If you weren't a cyclist what would you be?
“I’d be doing my courses to be a yoga teacher as well as travelling around the world on different yoga retreats.”
Allen's next and final European race of the season with ORICA-AIS is this weekend in the WorldTour event, the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta.