FEATURE: Allan plans for the future

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Multiple national champion Kate Allan has ambitions of breaking competition records, despite considering a year out to focus on her health.

The 39-year-old won the National 10, 25, Team Time Trial and Closed Circuit titles during an impressive 2023 campaign.

The Team Bottrill rider also won the British Best All-Rounder (BBAR) competition over the short distance for the second consecutive season.

However, it was not plain sailing for Allan who suffered a heavy crash in the National 50 which ruled her out of the National 100.

After taking over a month out of open competition the Maidenhead-based rider returned to competition returned winning three national titles and wrapping up the BBAR.

“The BBAR was one of my season goals, but very nearly didn’t happen, as I had to miss the National 100 because I came off my bike the week before,” said Allan.

“So I had very few events to choose between to qualify. I ended up doing a sporting course the day after the National 25 and a week before the National 10 so I could qualify.

“I was super-pleased to go as fast as I did. I think I took 30 minutes off the course record. I really wanted to try and get my time down.

“It was a goal, but almost didn’t happen so it was good.”

Allan won her first national title at the National 50 in 2022 and has since won six further crowns in 16 months.

However, working her way back to fitness a mid-season crash this year took its toll on the Team Bottrill rider.

As a result, Allan is contemplating taking a season out of competition in 2024 and returning the following year.

“It was very intense to be managing a Plan B with work,” said Allan.

“If I were not to take some time out I feel that I’d have a lacklustre season. I just know that I couldn’t do it and feel like I haven’t done myself justice.”

The Team Bottrill rider recorded an open personal best time of 1-42-57 to win the ECCA 50. Her time was just 30 seconds behind the competition record held by Hayley Simmonds of 1-42-20.

If Allan does take a year out she will return as a veteran category rider and also has age group competition records on her mind.

“I turn 40 next year so I’ll be a veteran, which is absolutely insane,” added Allan.

“I’d like to go for the veteran competition records. I’d like to better my time over 50 miles and I’ve made no secret of wanting to get Hayley Simmonds’ competition record, which is a big target of mine.

“By no means is it the end of my time trial goals. I just need a bit of time out to get my health back on track.”

The BBAR competition over the traditional distance was launched this season for women over 50 and 100 miles along with a 12-hour.

Fellow Team Bottrill rider Kim Barfoot-Brace won the inaugural event with an average speed of over 24.3 miles per hour.

Allan also has her eyes on the traditional distance format ‘in the longer term’ as her endurance capacity improves with age.

“I think while I’ve still got it in me to do the fast rides I have to focus on the shorter stuff,” added Allan.

“Then naturally I’ll evolve onto the longer distance stuff once I stopped being as fast and flighty.

“Endurance is where my strength lies. I’ve done some running at marathon distance and done an ultra-marathon.”

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