Brian Alldis plots his road to Rio
It may be three years away, but Brian Alldis is already plotting his route to the Rio Paralympics.
The 26-year-old handcyclist racer from Bury St Edmunds has enjoyed a stunning period of form since being forced to take a watching brief at London 2012, and now finds himself ranked joint-seventh in the world.
Alldis has just returned from World Cup events in Spain and Italy, where he finished in the top ten in both the time-trial and road race events.
It’s a far cry from two years ago when the former Hardwick Middle School pupil was finding the transition to his new discipline – having previously competed in wheelchair racing – a difficult one, often left trailing at the back of the field.
The British number one, who competed at the 2008 Paralympics as a wheelchair racer, said: “Being in the top ten in the world is an amazing achievement as I have never had a handcycling ranking before.
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“It’s been a massive learning curve for me but I have gone from being lapped by other racers in events to keeping up with them and finishing eight minutes behind the winner.
“Rio is the aim, it would mean the world to me to get there, but obviously British Cycling have a strong Paralympic squad so I have got to start winning medals.
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“I knew at the start of last year that I would not be selected for London 2012 and since then I have stepped up my training both physically and mentally.
“I won the national title last year and, competing for Great Britain this year, I have not been beaten.
“There was one guy that would regularly beat me, and recently I finished a minute ahead of him. I did not think I was going to be able to make such a jump.”
Alldis, who is Lottery funded, recently took a sabbatical from his job in order to dedicate all his time to his dream.
“There are always places to improve in terms of my strength and endurance, working in the gym, swimming and on the road,” added Alldis, who also competed at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi as a wheelchair racer.
“In this month alone I have already done over 500km on the bike.”