Tiffany Cromwell is hoping to put a turbulent off-season behind her as the Scody Australian Open Road Championships get underway today. Cromwell will contest both the women's time trial today and Saturday's road race, with the 21-year-old hoping to see a little success in each of the events.
"I think I'll still give the time trial 100 percent but for me, honestly, I have no idea how I'll go in the time trial," she said. "I have been training for it a lot more this year, but I haven't done a 28 kilometre time trial in a long time. The beauty of it is it does suit me a lot better."
Cromwell had initially signed with German super-squad Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung for the season, but the late withdrawal of the team's new sponsor – Skyter – has brought the team undone. She will now spend the year riding with the Australian National Team, and hopes to have at least one national champion jersey to wear throughout the year.
"Hopefully I bounce out of this [Jayco Bay Cycling Classic] really strong, the last two days I've been coming up even stronger than the first day," said Cromwell. "It would be fantastic to do the double, even if I got under 23 in the time trial and elite in the road race. The time trial is more of a see how I go whereas the road race is the major, major target."
In both races Cromwell is expecting fellow South Australian Alexis Rhodes to challenge for the titles. Rhodes was second in both the Oceania and Australian time trial championships in 2009, however is also the current Oceania Road Race Champion.
"I think someone like Alexis Rhodes could try an early move," she said. "I've been training with her at home and she's looking super strong. I know her major target is the time trial but at the moment she could do almost anything. I wouldn't be surprised if she tried to move and people just look at each other and she may just scare them off."
Cromwell won the Route de France time trial in 2009 and also had a successful year racing in the United States of America. She claimed victory on stage two of the Sea Otter Classic and finished seventh on the tough Montreal International Cycling Union (UCI) Women's World Cup circuit.