Jessica Allen, an Australian professional cyclist, spends half of the year living in Italy, racing in the Union Cycliste Internationale World Tour across Europe, and the other half competing in Australia. She knows all about what it takes to be a successful cyclist and hopes to win gold for Australia at the next Olympic Games. However, amongst her busy schedule, Jessica always finds time to ride in the annual MSWA Ocean Ride - Powered by Retravision.
Jessica is returning home to Perth after hers and Mitchelton-SCOTT’s most successful season ever. The 25-year-old was part of 10 World Tour race wins and a member of the seven-rider team that won the Women's Giro Italia in July, the only Grand Tour and biggest tour in women's cycling.
As is Jessica’s natural way of getting behind an important cause, for the third year in a row, she is lending her skills to riding in the 50 km Ride with Alishia Anderson on a tandem bike.
“I've participated in this event with Alishia for the past two years now on the tandem and I really enjoy it. I love riding along the Western Australian coast and seeing riders of all ages and abilities, out and enjoying riding their bikes for a really important cause. The course can be challenging with some short, punchy hills and there can also be a lot of wind. My Dad and his friends ride with Alishia and me which is pretty special,” said Jessica.
“Tandem riding is actually quite tough to start with. The bike is twice as long and double the weight, so it does take a little bit of time to get used to riding it. The most important thing to remember is communication. There is a lot of trust in tandem riding,” she added.
Alishia who lost her sight to retinitis pigmentosa 12 years ago, will be riding tandem with Mitchelton-SCOTT cyclist Jessica.
“Jess is my eyes on the bike. It’s about teamwork, we have to ride in sync and I have to listen to what she is telling me to do. She tells me what direction we’re turning, whether to stop or slow down and what’s in front of us and if there’s a hill, she says pedal faster,” Alishia said.
Jessica now has a personal connection to MSWA and always enjoys seeing familiar faces on the day. “I’m proud to be supporting MSWA to help make a difference to the lives of Western Australians. I have met many people who are living with neurological conditions and I want to raise awareness to help advocate for change,” Jessica said.
“It’s great to see Jessica and Alishia getting back on the bike again. They embody the spirit of the Ride – having a go and having fun, while raising money for people living with a neurological condition,” said MSWA CEO, Marcus Stafford AM.
“Last year, 1,781 riders raised more than $200,000, which set new records for the number of participants and the amount of money raised. MSWA has used this money to provide vital services and support, high-support accommodation and respite facilities and investing in neurological research for people with multiple sclerosis and all neurological conditions. We’ve also invested a record $3 million into neurological research, this year alone.”
The 9th annual MSWA Ocean Ride – Powered by Retravision is being held on Sunday, 25 November. Ride options include:
• 10km Family Ride
• 30km Ride
• 50km Ride
• 70km Challenge
• 100km Challenge
For the first time this year is the King and Queen of the Mountain Challenge for the 70 and 100km riders. The fastest riders, in various age categories, to get to the top of Reabold Hill will be presented with medals.
The finish line, at Whitfords Node, Hillarys, will be transformed into the City of Joondalup Event Village and will feature food and drink stalls, children’s activities, great live entertainment and a wide-range of exhibitors.
And, the MSWA Ocean Ride sponsors, Retravision, have offered to match all donations received from 12pm Tuesday, 13 November, to a maximum of $20,000. Just make a donation towards the 2018 MSWA Ocean Ride, and Retravision will match the donation dollar for dollar.
For more information, to register, or donate to the 2018 MSWA Ocean Ride – Powered by Retravision, go to www.MSWAOceanRide.org.au.