Hey ho it’s racing time. La Flèche Wallonne. 132km, 12 climbs (2 walls), great atmosphere and barrels of fun.— Tiffany Jane (@tiffanycromwell)
To win this race would be incredible. You win and everyone knows you’ve arrived. You’re known as a hard rider. You’re someone in cycling. I’m the kind of rider who likes it when you have to be switched on the entire race. With Flanders you’re always on, always thinking. You get through one section and you look at the 20cm on notes on your stem to see what’s coming next. There’s so much going on. You have to think all the time.
The amazing atmosphere helps as well. It gives me motivation to race hard. I love to ride in front of a climb. I’m a bit of a performer. If there’s a good crowd, I somehow manage to put in a little extra effort. It’s just a special race. That’s what it comes down to – massive history. It’s a World Cup. It’s a goal of mine to win a World Cup. To win Flanders? That would be incredible."
But as Cromwell, an aspiring fashion designer who has her own label, Tiffany Jane, revealed: ”To be honest, when I started cycling I actually didn’t enjoy it very much. I had gone from [being in] big, baggy basketball uniforms to this tight lycra business and on the track I was terrible. I was tiny when I started at 13 with no power whatsoever, and I still loved basketball.
”Eventually, as we got onto the road, I discovered I was a bit better, getting a bronze medal in my first-ever state road championships.
”From there, I began enjoying cycling more and basketball less. Finally I gave away basketball and focused just on cycling.”
Nice profile of Omloop winner Tiffany Cromwell
“It was very cold at the start and you can waste so much energy if you don’t stay warm enough, so I was wrapped up like a ninja. But I was feeling good, quietly confident and pretty excited for the race.”
At the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad sign-on, 24-year old Australian Tiffany Cromwell was a rider in disguise, hiding from the -4ºC cold. With her black neckwarmer pulled up to the bottom of her sunglasses, and her hat pulled down over her eyebrows, she was cycling’s equivalent of the Invisible Man, giving nothing away and refusing to surrender even a centimetre of skin to the vicious cold."
I interviewed Tiffany after the Omloop - please click through and read all about the race from her PoV