Photo © Kirsty Baxter
To start the season on the podium, finishing behind two exceptional time trial specialists has left me very happy.” That was the immediate reaction of Tiffany Cromwell after a thrilling ride on her new Canyon Speedmax CF SLX TT bike where she clinched the bronze medal in the Australian National time trial championships today.
Tiffany had worked with her new CANYON//SRAM racing team at training camp, her coach Eric Haakonssen and also her support crew at the event to ensure she could put in a performance she could be proud of so early in the season. “I set the TT as a goal, hoping my form was good enough to podium and I also wanted to do the team proud as the first rider to race in the new team outfit. I got such a thrill from seeing so many people excited about the new team and outfit. People genuinely love it! I knew the podium was a realistic goal to set but by no means a shoe in. As I reflect on the race now, to finish behind Katrin Garfoot and Shara Gillow was a job well done. I started my pre season training on the 1st November after a 5 week break from the bike and also tweaked my usual build up to the nationals and it is paying off.”
Tiff was the first male or female CANYON athlete from the professional teams they support to ride on the new Speedmax CF SLX time trial bike. “What a bike! It’s really nice, beautiful to ride and when you add Zipp wheels and SRAM Red ETap to it, you have a fantastic set up. I was all out on the 55 x 11 gearing at times on the 2 big downhills touching up to 80km/h. It was stunning and really a fast bike!”
Tiff has normally focused on being good at the mid to end of the season in the past but Olympic year is a little different. “Everyone knows I like to do other things away from the bike and that sometimes my ability to actually stop and relax means I dont recover so well, ultimately hampering my performance on the bike. I love travel, I love to socialise and that’s great but maybe I have learnt how to chill out a bit, still do everything I love in moderation but being more focused on my goals and giving myself that added few percent in recovery terms. I want to have a good start to the season, enjoy the spring classics and then take a mid season break before the big race goals which come towards the end of the season. This TT has given me the confidence that I was right to change a few things and on the right track.”
With a few days to recover, Tiffany will now set her sights on the National Road Race Title on Sunday. “The national champions jersey is up for grabs. I now know my form is good. I’m by no means at peak form yet, but I’m in the right condition for a good crack at the title. Obviously with seven Orica-AIS riders and a strong field in general, a lot needs to go your way to win. You have to be savvy, smart and calm but let’s see what happens come race day!”
Before looking forward to the weekend, Tiff was quick to thank everyone who helped her to the bronze medal “Thanks to all the fans who gave me a cheer out there. The TT is lonely, it’s a race of truth and every single cheer helped! A big thanks to my team mechanics, CANYON and SRAM for getting the bike dialled in with plenty of time for me to prepare on it, and to my entire CANYON//SRAM Racing team for giving me messages of support from overseas. I had my CANYON//SRAM racing D.S. Beth Duryea here helping me with everything and in the car following on the radio today which was fantastic. Rapha Australia and SRAM were also out here to give me a boost. Rub Massage Team back in Adelaide for keeping me in check before the nationals and Redarc Electronics for their support. Finally the South Australian Sports Institute for looking after me throughout the nationals week and the Drapac Professional Cycling team for sharing their resources with me. It means a lot to have so many people believe in you and support you.”