Tiffany Cromwell today finished third in UCI 1.2 GP Le Samyn des Dames in Dour, Belgium. Cromwell was in a five-rider move that formed during a cobbled sector. The race was won by Sheyla Gutierrez (CPC) from Amy Pieters (DLT) with Cromwell in third.
After the disappointment of her own race in Saturday’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Cromwell is pleased to have turned the tables to prove she is in good form. “After Saturday I’m not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed. I knew I had good form going into the race, but then when you don’t perform up to the expectations you had on yourself, it does knock your confidence a bit. I made sure I didn’t let it get to me too much and tried to put it to one side and focus on the next race,” said Cromwell.
After a series of attacks early in the race, Cromwell’s five-rider group went clear on one of the cobbled sections in the local laps. With the gap hovering around 1 minute and 30 seconds it wasn’t until the final 15km that it was clear the break would fight for the win.
“As we entered the laps we as a team had the plan that we wanted to take control of the race and not have other teams dictate our tactics. We came together for each cobbled sector at the front and were always in a good position. I went in to the last cobbled sector second wheel and we came away with a gap, which then quickly became a five-rider break. We worked really well straight away, no one was playing Mickey Mouse, most of the big teams were represented and it had quality riders in the break.”
Cromwell’s teammates patrolled the peloton, confident that she could get a result from the breakaway. “I felt good today. It was nice to also have confidence from the team who backed me in the break after it went away. I would’ve liked to have challenged for the win to repay the team’s great effort today but I was also a little unlucky there with the puncture in the final. After getting on the podium today it was a nice feeling and it was kind of a personal redemption for myself to know that it was just an ‘unlucky’ day on Saturday and my form was where I felt it was coming into the European season.”
Cromwell will now look forward to the opening race of the 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour, Saturday’s Strade Bianche in Siena, Italy. “Strade Bianche is a whole different kettle of fish. It’s a big race, it’s a beautiful race. I believe we’re going into the race with a strong team so I’d like to be able to support my team mates the best that I can and see what we can do together. I’m motivated for a strong race from both myself and the entire team.”
Strade Bianche starts at 09:30 local time (CET) on Saturday 4 March in Siena. Follow the action on the team’s twitter account using #StradeBianche and #UCIWWT. The team’s roster will be Alena Amialiusik, Elena Cecchini, Tiffany Cromwell, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Alexis Ryan and Trixi Worrack.