Tiffany Cromwell finished 9th in the bunch sprint at Driedaagse De Panne, won by Jolien D’hoore (MTS).
Tiffany reviews the race:
“Today was a hectic, long and stressful race all day. You could never switch off or relax as you never knew if the wind was going to have an impact or not and with the conditions being on and off wet it also made for a bit of nervousness.
To start with we were in a good situation with Lisa making the breakaway of the day and we were confident in her abilities in the group and her fast finish. We just had to stay alert and not miss any further moves back in the bunch and keep Alexis fresh for the sprint if the breakaway did come back. Later in the race though the team had quite a bit of bad luck.
First with Alexis having a crash and having to chase a lot to come back at times when teams were chasing hard to try bring back the break and then Lisa also crashed out of the break in a unlucky situation on the final two laps and she was our other protected rider for a possible bunch sprint.
Suddenly our race plan and options were all over the place and we had to make some quick decisions. Trixi and I spoke and decide to take a little gamble as we also didn’t have so many riders or good legs left. But Trixi, Lisa and Alice all helped at times with the chase. And suddenly I had to save for the sprint as I was “the next best option.” I wasn’t feeling 100% confident as it’s been a while since I’ve had to do a sprint but the girls trusted me so I would try to give it my best shot.
I tried to surf wheels in the final. It got pretty hectic as we caught the last of the breakaway as we hit the last corner at 600m to go. I managed to get onto the wheel of Lisa Brennauer when she started her sprint but I faded in the last hundred metres and couldn’t quite match the other girls, finishing 9th.
It wasn’t our day today, there’s a lot we can learn and gain further experience to be in these situations. I was gutted for Lisa as she had put in such a strong ride and she was just unlucky with her crash. After a debrief we can learn from what went wrong and how to deal with the situations like we had today and come out on the weekend ready to fight again!”