Tiffany Cromwell will lead with experience as Canyon-SRAM make their season debut on Sunday at the Vuelta CV Féminas. The Spanish race is a new edition to the racing calendar but has attracted a strong field that includes teams from Movistar, Lotto Soudal and Ale Cipollini.
For Cromwell and her teammates, it represents their first time racing together this season and with new faces in the team - including Zwift Academy winner Ella Harris from New Zealand - it's a chance to put hours of training at recent camps into practice.
"It's a rare occasion that I do a race that I haven't done before," Cromwell said in a press release issued by her team. "I'm excited for it. It's been a long wait to start racing this year so I'm eager to finally get the season started. I know everyone is motivated and ready to go. It should be nice and sunny. So hopefully we can start the season on a high for the team.
"It's only a short race but I think it'll be quite fast being flat. We have a young but motivated group. We want to go into every race with the goal to try and win. At the same time, this is a smaller race and our first, so we want to use that opportunity to take chances, take initiative and if it doesn't work out, we learn from it and take those learnings into the next bigger races. It's also a chance for the younger riders to gain important race experience without the pressure of say a Women's WorldTour race."
Harris will be making her proper debut for the team in the 88.5km race, alongside Cromwell, Rotem Gafinovitz, Hannah Ludwig, Alice Barnes and Tanja Erath. Harris, 20, has already ridden in team colours at her national championships in January, where she finished 13th, but this will be her first European race as part of her new team.
"I'm really looking forward to racing in the Canyon-SRAM colours with the team for the first time. I'm excited to work with the more experienced riders and follow their direction so I am able to assist the team in achieving success," Harris said.
"I'm really liking being an official member of the team as it makes the camp a lot easier and far more enjoyable, without the uncertainty and stress of the Zwift Academy finals. I'm able to train and relax knowing that this is actually my team. That's a significant change from the dream that it used to be."
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