15.06.2024 , ,


Tiffany Cromwell won FNLD GRVL in impressive fashion today, taking the victory by just a handful of seconds.

Below, Tiffany talks through the day and the depth that’s building in women’s gravel racing in the past twelve months.

“Between 2023 and 2024, we had strong fields at the top end for women in both years, but we saw a little more depth this year. We had very different fields in terms of the riders who came to race between last year and this year. I only knew a few riders this year, as this was the first time I had raced them. I had to work out their strengths as I went along. We were evenly matched for a long time, with five women in the group at the front of the women’s field.

Several races are on offer as gravel racing grows, especially in Europe. The sponsor interest continues to grow within the gravel industry, and more gravel-specific teams or collectives are being created. This is all adding to the greater depth of racing across the board. But especially within the women’s field. You can now make a career as a gravel ‘pro racer’. There is also equipment development and more specific training for gravel.

From early on in the race, I knew I had to play the long game. I wasn’t feeling so good today. I knew Klara was the rider I needed to watch the most as I’ve raced her already in The Gralloch and seen some of her results. Despite being so young, she’s strong, technically very good, and had one teammate. It came down to the three of us as we hit the most challenging climb in the race at about 17km to go. I took my chance. I had already tested the water on some of the smaller climbs and more technical sectors on the course to see who looked to be suffering or if I could shake any of the other women from the group.

I pushed hard at the start of the climb, which was steep—and had a gap. But then it was another 2km of false flat before the next steep part, and Klara came back to me there. I tried again over the last steep part and opened a gap again. Enormous credit to her for the fight and never giving up. And respect to the men in our group who let us race head to head and didn’t help her return or didn’t tow me to extend my lead. I had to push hard the whole way to the finish, and she did start to close in on me again. I knew I had to push hard on the technical parts as she was going to match me there or even be slightly better and try to open up the gap whenever there was a steeper pitch.

In the end, after the last climb, about 3km to go, I managed to crack her and kept pushing on. But I knew I couldn’t ease up for the last part. I enjoyed the last downhill and being able to take the win. It wasn’t easy, but it was very satisfying.

Of course, it’s always nice to finish with a win. This block of gravel hasn’t been quite as successful as last year, but the level has increased. I’ve had some nice results, but FNLD GRVL was a nice way to finish on a high. Yes, it’s our race, but Finland is my second home, making it extra special.

It’s been a super big racing block these last months and I’m not finished yet, with another road tour coming up soon. I can feel the fatigue building up, but I’m happy I can still get everything out of myself.”


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