Photo © Kirsty Baxter
“Theres no doubt I was consistent!” That was the summary of Tiffany Cromwell after the completion of the Santos Womens Tour Down Under last week. “Overall I am satisfied with 4 days of good hard racing. I have decent form, my head was good and I think that all round this years Tour Down Under was fantastic.” Captain consistent you might name her, Tiff finished two stages in 5th and 2 stages in 6th and ended up in 5th place overall in the race. “All round, this years event was a great edition. I loved racing in my home tour on so many roads that I know and have grown up cycling on from way back when I first fell in love with cycling.
Tiff joined the South Australia Sports Institute team for the race. “We came into the race as a small team with just 4 riders and unfortunately after the first stage we were down to just 2. It was a shame to lose two riders (Chloe and Michelle) due to not finishing within the time cut on day one, but after that Jessica Mundy and I became a 2 woman team, backing each other well to try and take chances and support each other where we could. Jess was an awesome teammate and really helped me, particularly during the 3rd stage when we were getting slammed with attacks by Orica-AIS. We had a lot of fun on the final day too as I tried to help get her into breaks for a possible stage win opportunity and she did the same for me. We worked off of each other really well. She is a talented rider and I enjoyed working with her.”
After wrapping up the 4 days of racing and clinching 5th place overall, Tiff focused on various CANYON//SRAM Racing Team sponsor commitments for a few days whilst enjoying the festivities and watching some of the mens Tour Down Under.. “I love working with our partners, they’re a great group of people and brands. As the only Australian rider on the team I had a lot of commitments this year at the Tour Down Under to represent the team, but its all part of life as a professional athlete. I spent some time with Canyon Bicycles in the Tour Village, showing off our Ultimate CF SLX team bike and I caught up with the SRAM crew for some rides.
I had a lot of activities with our clothing partner Rapha, including a Q&A evening in their pop-up with a live Manga Art drawing by the very talented Japanese artist ‘Kogawa’, along with a Rapha women’s later in the week. I was absolutely blown away by how many women turned up to ride.” Tiff was joined by over 100 riders taking in some great roads through the Adelaide Hills, but also ensuring they took some time to cheer on the men as the race passed by on their route.
“I joined the annual pilgrimage to the queen stage of the race at Willunga that was put on together with the Norwood Cycling Club and Rapha, we had over 400 riders that started together from the Norwood CC club rooms, it was an amazing number.”
Tiffany also lead a worldwide live Zwift training ride to help launch the talent spotting initiative of the CANYON//SRAM Racing team, that will see one Zwift user earn a professional contract with the team in 2017.”
Adelaide is calming down now and Tiff has one race left in Australia before the staged trip back to Europe starts. “I am looking forward to the Cadel Evans Great Ocean road race which is next on my agenda. After that I will head to Qatar to join up with my team and get stuck into the races. I am excited to see how I am progressing and can’t wait to race with my CANYON//SRAM team mates again.”
Reflecting on the Santos Tour Down Under, Tiffany was motivated by a number of things. “I was pleased to get in the decisive break on stage 1 of the race that ultimate formed the overall classification, and show I was strong in all the stages with my 5th and 6th places. The womens ride showed me how popular womens cycling is becoming and gave me a real insight into how motivational we can be in encouraging new riders into cycling.”
You can follow Tiffanys journey to Qatar on Twitter and Instagram @tiffanycromwell.