I first met Tiffany Cromwell a couple of years ago over breakfast in Taiwan, we were both there for the King of the Mountain Challenge, Tiff to compete, me to avoid blowing up.
We spent a solid amount of time talking and riding, yet I never wrote a single word down (schoolboy error I know), I was probably too busy trying to breath to remember anything!
Last week I was down in London town with a nearly full day of meetings when I saw this….
A couple of quick DM’s later and we arranged to meet up in the Rapha Cycle Club in Soho.
Tiff’ now rides for the newly-formed Canyon/SRAM women race team, and if you have followed her on Twitter or Instagram you’ll have see that a). she is not the retiring type, and b). she is ALWAYS on the go!
After ordering some tea, Tiff had rooibos, I opted for camomile, we got on with the serious business of catching up.
We talk about flights per year – this elicits a smile and some laughter as she’s often contemplated the same herself – suffice to say it’s a heck of a lot! Tiff’s IG feed showcases her travels, yet despite the hundreds of flights per year, there is still scope for more travel, with South America and Asia areas where she’d like to spend more time exploring.
Being an Ozzie her season starts in earnest before most and she is looking forward to a weeks rest, it’s been a mixed bag so far with a bunch of podiums but no wins yet, you can sense that’s certainly something Tiff is planning on rectifying this season!
But it was totally worth it for the taste of champagne on the podium. Pretty happy to start my season with a bronze medal in the @cyclingaustralia individual time trial. Many congrats to @katrin_garfoot on the victory and @sharagillow on second. Results like this wouldn't be possible without the amazing support of my team, the staff, and sponsors @bethduryea @wmncycling @rapha @rapha_australia @sramroad @sram_australia @canyon_bikes @oakley @girocycling @zippspeed @lexxialexx @boaclosuresystem @redarc_electronics @speedplaypedals SASI Cycling and anyone else I've forgotten. Bring on Sunday and the RR!!!! #takethelead 📷@kirstybaxter79
We talk about her training partner at home, World Champ Lizzie Armistead, and the upcoming Olympics. Rio is very much a target for Tiff, but there is a hesitance to gush about it too much, her growing profile in the sport has led to her being marked more during races, a consequence of this is her results have not been as prominent as she would wish, she is clearly champing at the bit to sort this!
During the course of our time together no one comes up for an autograph, but I certainly notice a few stares from the other customers, having a top-level cyclist in their midst is not an everyday occurrence!
The conversation turns to what’s on the agenda after her rest week, and we talk about the steadily improving pay situation in women’s cycling. Whilst the situation may be getting better with a couple of high-profile events in the UK, there is still a great deal of work to be done on mainland Europe especially – after taxes and the team splitting it amongst the roster, a stage win might net each person just €40. Even the high profile Women’s Flèche Wallonne has such a disparity with prize money that the overall winner Anna van der Breggen will earn less than the 7th placed male finisher (€1,128 vs. €1,200).
Our time is up, and I leave Tiffany to go shopping and prepare for the next day’s ride out with Rapha staff, whilst I head out to my next appointment.
It’s always fascinating to spend time with a Pro, their lifestyle is one of constant flux, moving from race to race, their home literally being treated like a hotel, at times no more than a kit storage facility. Until the next time Tiff!