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Tiffany Cromwell and Ella Harris kickstart the 2019 season for CANYON//SRAM Racing with their respective national road championships starting tomorrow. Cromwell will line up in the first Australian e-racing criterium national championships to be held on Zwift on Friday 4 January. The Australian will then race the real-life criterium national championships on Friday evening and the elite women’s road race on Sunday 6 January, both to be held in Ballarat. Harris will race the 109km course, eligible still for the U23 title, on Saturday 5 January in Napier, New Zealand.
For Cromwell, it will be a fresh approach to her European season. Taking a longer build up over winter, and aside from this weekend’s championships, deciding to step away from her usual Australian summer of racing. Though sad to miss the developing women’s cycling scene in Australia, the 30 year old is hoping the change will reward her with stronger and more consistent form for the European spring races.
“This year I’m taking a completely different approach to the season than I ever have in my career. I’m always keen to support the races in January as it’s rare that we get to do world class races on home soil during the season. It’s also satisfying to see the push to give women’s sport a bigger platform in Australia. But this year I need to take a step back and approach my own key goals in the best way,” said Cromwell.
“My early season goals are the Spring classics and I want to be build up to peak around the major ones like Flanders, as opposed to being strong in the early classics because of the Australian summer of racing and then being a bit cooked come April,” Cromwell continued.
“I’m taking a more ‘traditional’ approach to the European season. Taking my time to really build my base, then introduce strength work and slowly transitioning towards the high intensity race efforts. It’s different to how I have prepared in the recent seasons, and I’m really enjoying this process at the moment.”
“Nationals is the one race we pencilled in to do but with zero pressure or expectations. Our pre-season training camp in Spain last month was great, but if you had asked me then my expectations for nationals. I was almost not even going to race them. I suffered a lot and felt like I had a lot of work to do. But I’ve come out of the camp really well. I know nationals will be a shock to the system, but I’ll go out and see how I fair,” added Cromwell.
Second time around the 20 year old is aiming for a high placing both in her U23 category and the elite.
Harris said, “The course usually comes alive in the last half of the race on the city circuit with some technical sections and two steep climbs. I’ve been feeling good in training and hope that translates into some decent legs come race day! My endurance should be good, it’s just if I have enough punch to go with the key moves as I haven’t raced for a while. I’ll be content if I can have a nice race and a high placing.”
Follow the races:
4/1/2019 09:15 ASDT Australian e-racing criterium championships (broadcast live here), 17:20 Australian criterium championships, 44km (broadcast live on SBS Cycling Central website and facebook page) #RoadNats.
5/1/2019 10:00 NZDT New Zealand women’s road championships, 109km, #EliteRoads.
6/1/2019 08:30 ASDT Australian women’s road championships 104.4km, (broadcast from 10:00 on SBS Cycling Central website and facebook page, Fox Sports) #RoadNats.