Interview: Tiffany Cromwell
Interview with 21 year old Australian cyclist and fashion stylist Tiffany
Cromwell. She rides for Skyter-Shipping in 2010 and has her own line
of women's cycling apparel Tiffany Jane.
Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Tiffany Cromwell, I am a 21 year old Australian professional cyclist
from Adelaide, South Australia. I have been riding for 8 years now, 2 years
professional and represented Australia at junior and senior world road championships.
Before cycling I tried a number of different sport including; basketball, ballet,
cross country running, athletics, dance sport aerobics, and triathlon. Besides
cycling I am a fashion student studying an Advanced diploma in fashion studies
and Cert II in Image Management, I am also a qualified fashion stylist and have
my own line of women's cycling apparel Tiffany Jane.
Why did you choose cycling as your sport?
Cycling actually found me and I fell in love with the sport. I came through
a talent search program here in Adelaide with the state sports institute, a
government supported academy to assist athletes to achieve the highest level
in their chosen sport. In 2002 I was put through a couple of basic fitness tests,
then a VO2 max test and they thought I had the right physiology to be a top
level cyclist, so I was put in a program with about 15 other athletes with the
same potential, we start on the track then moved into road cycling too and learnt
the basic skills and I've never looked back since.
Photo © 2009 Dan Peters
What kind of rider is Tiffany Cromwell?
I would say I'm an aggressive/break away rider and a strong team worker. I love
being a part of the race and doing what ever I can do in order for the team
to get the win. My strength would be climbing however I am starting to become
more of an all round bike rider.
Which hobbies do you have next to cycling?
I love fashion, going to events and keeping up to date with the latest styles
and trends of the catwalk from around the world. I also enjoy traveling, water
sports, shopping, rock climbing, and motor racing.
How do you look back on the 2009 season?
2009 was definitely my strongest year on the bike so far, I think I really stepped
and was given opportunities to be a team leader and learnt to push myself past
boundaries I didn't think I could in order to podium or win. I achieved my two
major goals to sign with a strong UCI women's team and compete at the world
championships in Mendrisio. I had some strong results in the US including a
top 10 at Montreal world cup and I was also part of many team wins too. Then
the second half of the year I just got stronger, and that showed putting myself
on the line to help my team mates and vice versa with me getting my first European
win and continuing on for a second later on in the year. Overall I am extremely
satisfied with my year and hope that I can only continue to grow stronger.
Tiffany showing some of her Tiffany Jane collection
© 2009 CJT Design
What performance/achievement you are the most proud
I would have to say my stage win in the TT at la route de France, I think I
surprised not only myself but also a lot of people. It helped me believe that
I am actually stronger than I thought in that discipline and my coach had been
putting a lot of emphasis on increasing my power in training to help me become
more of an all round cyclist. I had been improving all year on time trials,
as when I was a junior I was a national champion in the discipline but then
I turned senior I stopped really focusing on them and more on the road racing
so that win in a major tour with strong competition is definitely my most proud
performance so far.
You rode for Colavita/Sutter Home the past two seasons.
How was it to be part of the team and to learn from experienced riders as Tina
Pic and Rachel Heal?
It was great being a part of Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light,
I enjoyed my time there, and they gave me the opportunity to come over to North
America and get some international racing experience at the age of 19 and it
definitely opened some doors for me. It's such a great and well organized team
that really looked after me and it was an awesome group of girls to race with.
Learning from experienced riders such as Tina and Rachel, was awesome. I raced
with Tina for both seasons and she's such a great person, really friendly has
time for everybody and is somebody that you are willing to dig deeply to help
her get up for the win. She has years of experience and she helped me with little
tips and advice when it came to the lead-out or if I was in the position to
go for the win and was an asset to my team working skills. It was always satisfying
being part of a winning team when racing for Tina. Rachel was the same, she
came to the team this season and I did many races along side her. She has a
lot of international experience and is a smart rider, she was a great asset
to me when I was a protected rider on the occasion making sure I didn't expend
energy I didn't need, as previously I had mostly ridden as a domestique. She
is a great person and a good friend too and was great to learn from for not
only me but many of the other riders on the team. I think both Rachel and Tina
will be a huge asset to the team as they take on the role of directors.
Next year you will ride for the successor of the German
Equipe Nürnberger team, Skyter-Shipping. What do you expect from your first
full European season in a team with Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke and other
world class riders as Amber Neben and Trixi Worrack?
I'm expecting it to be a big learning year, riding along side and working with
some of the best women in the world, putting everything I've got on the line
to help the team in order to get a win. I think the first part of the season
will be the hardest heading to a new team, speaking a new language and it will
be my first year out on my own in Europe away from the comforts of the Aussie
house in Varese, Italy but we have a good network of Aussie's and I am already
getting a lot of help and advice to make the transition smooth and easy. I'm
really excited though I think I will become an even stronger and smarter bike
rider and am ready to see what I can achieve with my first full season in Europe.
I don't really know too much what to expect as I've only ever been a part of
English speaking teams but the team itself Skyter-Shipping seem like a really
good and well managed and organized team, and riding with the likes of Nicole,
Amber, and Trixi will be a great opportunity for me to learn from the best.
At a photoshoot for her Tiffany Jane collection
© 2009 CJT Design
What do you prefer the most in racing (in general)?
I love the whole concept of team racing and really working together and everybody
believing in a person to come through with the win. I love a great atmosphere
and a hard and aggressive race.
What race has been a favorite of yours?
That's a hard one, I have a few; I love Commerce Bank Liberty Classic it's such
a great atmosphere and so much fun to race, the city of Philadelphia always
put on a good show. I also really enjoyed Nürnberger world cup, once again
an awesome atmosphere to race in. And although it is usually a hard 10 days
I love the challenge of the Giro Donne and in a few years time it is a race
I would like to win.
Who has inspired you, or currently inspires you to
race. (Or in the present)?
I would say that Marianne Vos inspires me a fair bit, she's such a phenomenal
athlete and talent, for somebody who is a year older than me who has podium
at every senior world road championships, and world champion in many disciplines
and an Olympic champion just to name a few of her achievements is pretty inspiring
knowing that gaining big results at a young age is very achievable. Also I respect
Stuart O'Grady as a cyclist a lot he's such a tough and aggressive bike rider
and a fighter, coming back on so many occasions after big crashes and the way
he pushes himself past the limit for team mates and himself, seeing him win
Paris-Roubaix was a pretty inspiring moment not only for me but the whole of
Australia and the world I think.
Together with Peta Mullens and Rochelle Gilmore - photoshoot of the HP-Teschner
Track Cycling Team
Photo © 2009 Dan Peters
You have your own Tiffany Jane (cycling) clothing line.
Why this idea?
That all started as I had been studying fashion design and learning the ropes
of graphic design and my dad had always suggested that I should start my own
line of women's cycling apparel as there isn't really that many nice looking
kits out there for women. I started playing around on the computer and used
my knowledge of what looks good and is flattering to a women's figure to come
up with a signature design, and then we found a company to produce it for us.
In the future I really want to work on the cut and shape of women's cycling
apparel to come up with something a little more casual that the everyday female
cyclist feels comfortable wearing. I started with cycling apparel as with fashion
you need to start some where and as I have a strong knowledge in the cycling
industry, I am able to back my products knowing that I am putting out a good
quality garment that is comfortable to wear, and as my profile grows I hope
that my business grows with it. It is also there so I can make some extra income
on the side to support myself and will be something to go to when I eventually
For the future you have any thoughts to expand your
clothing line? For example to design casual clothes, party (glamour) clothes
Definitely, like I said before I only started with cycling wear as I know the
industry. As my profile and label grows I would like to get into casual clothing,
gym wear etc. My passion lies in special occasion wear and also catwalk fashion
and haute couture, where you can really express yourself and come up with crazy
designs that set trends and gradually trickle down the line where it becomes
a ready to wear garments. I'd love to one day be a big name designer sending
my collection down the runway at major fashion shows around the world.
What are your goals for 2010? And if you don't mind….
long term career goals as a person and cyclist?
My first goal for 2010 are the Australian road national championships, I'd love
to take the Aussie stripes for the road race with me over to Europe for the
season. After that at this stage I haven't sat down and put down any goals for
specific races I'll do that when we confirm my race schedule, but I think it
is going to be a big learning year for me, I will take any opportunity that
I am given for a shot at a win but I know racing with some strong team mates
that I will be happy play a domestic role for us to take the win. I do however
have my eyes set on the 2010 world road championships in Melbourne and the 2010
Commonwealth games in Delhi, India so they will both be major goals for me for
2010. As for long term goals as a cyclist is the 2012 Olympics and beyond, but
also to grow as a cyclist into a GC rider and take wins at major tours such
as Tour de L'Aude and Giro Donne. Ultimately I want to become world number 1.
As a person I want to grow my fashion label into an internationally known label
and just be the best person I can be and live life to the fullest.
Website Tiffany Cromwell
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