Cromwell crowned champ at Australian Open Criterium
CYCLING: Tiffany Cromwell stormed to victory in the Australian Open Criterium at Noosa Heads on Saturday to finish her season in style and she's determined to go up a gear in 2017.
The 28-year-old edged Rio Olympian Katrin Garfoot and Emily Roper in a sprint to the line in the 30minute+3laps race, after being in a four-rider breakaway.
"I wasn't super confident (during the race) because my legs were feeling pretty horrendous....but watching the others I was thinking I just had to be smart and play the sprint well," she said.
"When I went it, I knew I had it won because I was able to get the shortest line through the corners and I knew Emily went too early and Kat was on the wrong side.
"It worked out perfectly and it was nice to be able to finish it off."
Cromwell is now intent on a bumper 2017 season.
She has her sights on a world championship medal and is determined to shine in the classics, in her second season with German-based outfit Canyon-SRAM.
She will rejoin her team- mates in December for a training camp in Mallorca before ramping things up in January.
"I'm looking for a more consistent year," she said.
"Every year I'm stepping up and getting a few big wins here and there but I really want to do well in the classics, those are my favourite races, like Gent Wevelgem or Tour of Flanders and then we have the new Ardennes Classics for the women.
"I'd like to target those, and the world champs in Norway. That looks like a good course for me so I'd like to show that I should be able to go for a medal."
Cromwell relishes the one-day races and such is the strength of her team, she regularly rides for others in multi-day events.
It's the cobbled classics, such as the Tour of Flanders, which appeal to her the most.
"Amstel Gold suits me well. I need to bring my climbing back up but when I'm in my best climbing form it's the punchy stuff I like and the Tour of Flanders does suit me and it's the biggest one of all in terms of cobbled classics so I'd love to win that one day," she said.
"It's just something about them (cobble races). They are so tactical. It's all about positioning and timing and conserving energy and they're the most interesting because you don't get a chance to be bored and they're usually the hardest as well. I like the races where you have to be a good all-round rider.
"It's nice we're getting more (classics races on the women's cycling calendar) because they're the best to race in."
"They have the best atmosphere and they take a lot of tactics and skill as well as being a strong rider, so they're my cup of tea.
"It's good to see the sport progressing and getting (more of) these races."
For now, she can savour winning another top race, at Noosa.
"It's such a fantastic event and part of a great weekend," she said.
Sunshine Coast youngsters Kristina Clonan and Alexandra Martin-Wallace were in the thick of the race.