Photo ©Emily Maye
“As an athlete you have to build in phases of transition from one part of the season to the next, but still with your long term objectives in mind. The last week has been one of those phases and I am looking forward to the next races with a fresh mind and strong motivation.” Tiffany Cromwell was speaking at the end of a trip back home between the cobbled classics and her next race in the Basque Country of Spain.
“The classics season started well for me but towards the end I was starting to feel fatigued and I didn’t quite reach the personal goals I was hoping to achieve through this period. But, on reflection, it was a really heavy racing period for me, I have never done so many demanding one day races in a row. Racing every weekend and sometimes twice a weekend for 6 weeks straight. Over a phase of the season like that, you don’t always realise how much the day to day travel between races and the mental focus actually takes out of you. Experience tells you when you need a recharge and I was due one. Now after a few days at home in my own routine, some home cooked food and springtime arriving, I am remotivated and ready to get stuck into racing again.”
Over the last week, Tiff has had some time to relax, catching up with friends and enjoying time in her own environment but her long term goal of Rio 2016 has always played a part in this time of recuperation. “It was still only one week at home and the time was more about recovery than training, but it was nice to have a couple of hard training sessions up in the mountains over the last week. Just working on switching my legs from classics mode to climbing mode ready for the upcoming races in Spain; Durango and Bira. These races are going to be an important marker to see where I’m at with my climbing and the areas I still need to improve when thinking about the Olympics. Let’s be honest, if you aren’t competitive in a hilly race, then you wont be in the mix in Rio!”
For the one day Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria and the 5 day Euskal Emakumeen XXIX Bira stage race, Tiffany will be swapping out her Canyon//SRAM trade team colours for the national team colours of Australia. She will line up with the High 5 Australian National Development Team and she is excited about the prospect of racing with them. “The team is a development squad which is always quite refreshing to be a part of, as the girls are always so enthusiastic to learn and it’s nice to share my experience with them. We also have Spratty (Amanda Spratt) racing with the team too ,so it will be good to have the added experience and strength in the team and it’ll be nice to race with her again! I really like the Basque Country, it’s a beautiful part of the world and the racing is tough so it will provide a really tough week of racing and will hopefully set me up for the rest of the season.”
After these races, Tiffany heads directly to La Fléche Wallonne Féminine in Belgium which finishes atop of the famous Mur Du Huy. “The climbing in Bira will provide great preparation for Fléche. There is only 2 days recovery between the races and providing I can recover well in those two days, I think this block of racing in Spain will set me up well to perform strongly in the Ardennes. For the moment though, I’m focused on the upcoming races in the Basque Country with the goal of gaining some strong results through individual stages, so lets see what happens!”
You can follow Tiff during the next races on Twitter or see how she spends her time in pictures through Instagram via @tiffanycromwell.