Photo ©Kirsty Baxter
“I am leaving the Australian summer of racing more confident in my abilities and pleased with my overall performance in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race where I guest rode with the Boss Racing Team.” was Tiffany Cromwell’s analysis after the final Australian race of the season. Tiff had emerged at the front of the UCI event at the weekend after making a big effort to bridge across to a dangerous two rider move in the final 25km’s, before being unable to match the further attacks in the punchy run into the finish.
“The first part of the race was flat and can be susceptible to winds which could potentially cause havoc, but this year the wind strength wasnt enough to make a huge difference. The race stayed mainly together, aside from a few small breaks until the final 25km’s where the roads became more undulating and the racing heated up. Orica-AIS began to launch riders off the front and it was Rachel Neylan who went clear with Chloe Hosking (Wiggle-High 5) in toe. I was waiting patiently to see what the other teams were going to do and see who was going to take up the chase. A couple of the NRS teams came to the front to chase, but they weren’t having a big enough impact to close the gap. I knew I had to take my chance and bridge across to put myself back in the front of the race. I saw an opportunity on one of the rolling hills on the run back into Geelong and dug deep to make it across to the two leaders, but at the same time I brought across Dani King (Wiggle-High 5) and Amanda Spratt (Orica-AIS).
As with all of the Australian races, I once again found myself outnumbered at the front of the race and didn’t have the legs to cover all of the attacks that followed. Despite dropping off from the front group, and in the end coming to the line with a small chase group sprinting for 4th, I am really happy with how I raced and the commitment I showed.
I’ve been building more and more confidence in my abilities every race and I hope the momentum will continue into the European races and I will eventually be rewarded with a big result.”
The race was won solo by Amanda Spratt of Orica-AIS with Tiff eventually clinching 6th place in a race she clearly enjoyed.
“You have to admire the way the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race has already established a great reputation and is gaining traction. It’s also fantastic that Cadel is putting something back into the sport after his retirement. The race is so professionally run and I can see it growing into a premier international event on the women’s calendar. It showcases the beautiful areas like Barwon Heads, Torquay and the Great Ocean Road, the scenery is stunning.”
Tiff has now arrived in Qatar, excited to be meeting up with her CANYON//SRAM Racing teammates for the first race of 2016 together. “Trixi, Lisa, Mieke, Barbara and Elena are the other riders for the Ladies Tour of Qatar and I cant wait to get on the road, create the team dynamic and use the cards we have to play. We have a really strong line up for the first race of the season together as a team. Qatar is a race characterised by its strong winds and is all about being in the right place at the right time. Hopefully my recent racing will give me good legs to both help the team and take an opportunity if it arises.”
Before focusing fully on Qatar, Tiff had time to reflect on the recent racing block. “From the Australian summer of racing I am most proud of my bronze medal in the Australian National TT championships. That ride gave me a lot of satisfaction and I am heading back towards Europe with a real eagerness to get the season moving and keep the good momentum I have built.”
The Australian racing campaign wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support of everyone who helped me out at the races throughout the summer. Special mention to Beth Duryea from CANYON//SRAM Racing, SRAM Australia, Rapha Australia, Canyon Bikes, South Australian Institute of Sport, Boss Racing Team, Drapac Pro Cycling, Rub Massage, Redarc Electronics and everyone who cheered for me along the way.