The weeks leading up to the world championships are always critical for an elite rider and after her fifth place in Ponferrada last season, Tiffany has been keen to get quality racing into her final programme. She had known for a while that she would not be part of the Velocio-SRAM team time trial team for Richmond so the final races of the season has been with the Australian High 5 national development team, a motivational place for an experienced rider like Tiff.
“I lined up with the High 5 development team at Ardeche. It’s a difficult race and ideal for honing form ahead of the worlds. There was over 10,000 metres of climbing in 6 days this year and joining the High 5 team meant I could help the girls on the team but also look at targeting stages and getting in a good quality workout. The field wasnt totally stacked with all the top names, as it is the same time as the Holland Ladies Tour, but there were days of really good strong racing and it suited my needs really well.”
Tiff was climbing much better than she has been all season which gave her great motivation and as a result she ended up with one podium finish and a number of top 10 finishes, including in the overall classification. “I came out of Ardeche well. I recovered quickly and feel stronger now for that race. It means I can now build in some training to get the explosive power needed ahead of Richmond”
Tiffany’s most recent event was the Chrono Champenois, a time trial that she wouldn’t have normally targeted. “I had an email from the Australian national coach suggesting I gave the TT a go. I have ridden it before back in 2011 so I wondered how it might benefit me with no ambitions in the individual time trial at the worlds, it has dead roads and its a 45 minute super concentrated effort and you have to hurt yourself a lot to do well. I havent done a lot of TT work, concentrating on the road but realised it would give me a good measure of my overall fitness.”
And so Tiff rode the race which ultimately gave her some real confidence. “I was able to hurt myself and pull out a good TT. I finished in second place and as it’s a UCI 1.1 categorised race it picked up some really valuable points. It ended up being a good decision to take to the start line!”
Tiffany returned home late last Sunday night, took a couple of easy training days to recover and has had a really good week of training at home ahead of flying out. “I fly out on Monday to Richmond. We went there with my trade team Velocio-SRAM earlier in the year so I know what to expect. I am looking forward to it, we have a good Australian team with lots of options so let’s see what happens!”