Bobby & Jens: Alison Jackson is a literal rock star

The Canadian took full advantage of her opportunity to win Paris-Roubaix Femmes. 

Photo: Dirk Waem/Belga Mag/AFP via Getty Images

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Opportunities can present themselves to anyone in cycling. Alison Jackson took advantage of one of the biggest opportunities of her career by making the break at Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift then making it count. 

Since winning the monument just over a month ago, her life been a whirlwind. We managed to track her down in between requests for pictures from fans for the latest episode of Bobby & Jens. 

The cycling world certainly knows how important this win was. Jackson’s family is starting to come around to understanding it too after getting interview requests themselves from Canadian media. Jackson is even now listed as a notable person on the Wikipedia page about her small Canadian hometown of a few thousand people.

So how did she get started in cycling in a small town in a country where cycling is little known? Jackson tells us about her journey to the sport. And her first breakthrough wins, including a stage at Redlands. 

Also read: Bobby & Jens: Paralympian Allison Jones 

Then things jump to the big story of the hour. She walks us through winning Paris-Roubaix, a race that despite being one of the most important of the year she is the most relaxed for. 

“Starting the race, I’m so relaxed,” she says, accepting that so much of the race is out of her control. “Paris-Roubaix is the race that I have the least nerves for.”

She takes us through the entire race, from establishing the break, to finding the motivation to hold on as the peloton breathed down their necks, coming within 10 seconds at one point, to navigating the velodrome finale. 

Many commentators have made note of how well Jackson handled everything tactically, but she admits that’s not how she was thinking in the heat of the moment.

“At that moment I’m not thinking about any of these things, I’m just desperately trying to win a bike race,” she says.

For the bike tech nerds out there, she also tells us about the adjustments she made to her equipment for the race, including tires and handlebar tape, and why she doesn’t use gloves for Roubaix. 

Jackson was also there for the first Paris-Roubaix Femmes in 2021. She tells us about how important this race is for women’s cycling, and what it means to get to be there to race the early races. 

And she tells us about how her life has changed in the weeks since the big win, including getting recognized and asked to take pictures. How is she savoring the moment, and what is she looking forward to next this season and in her career now that she has a confidence inspiring win under her belt? Not to mention a nice rock to show for it.

Listen to the episode for the full conversation. 

Trending on Velo

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.