Australian racer Tiffany Cromwell, who rides with the Canyon//SRAM women's cycling team, got the keys to the BikeRadar Instagram account on International Women's Day to give all of us an insight into the life of a pro.
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The 28 year old racer has an impressive palmarès, with stage wins at the Giro D'Italia and Energiewacht Tour, bronze at the Australian national time trial race in 2016, and multiple top 10 and top 5 positions. Her dedication is clear: most non-race days involve training rides with specific training goals, distances and objectives.
However, not all rides are purely focussed on pushing for speed, strength or distance - recovery rides are also part of the program, and Cromwell is blessed with the kinds of roads most cyclists can only dream of. "I'm based in the South of France, which is an amazing training playground for cycling as we're spoilt for choice for roads to ride and mountains to climb, along with beautiful weather to match," she says.
Cross training is also an important part of not just preparation but also injury prevention, and Cromwell will do two to three gym sessions a week when at home between races.
"During heavy racing periods the gym sessions are mainly focused on stability and maintenance to keep everything in check," she comments on Instagram. "But when I have periods of longer training blocks then we combine that with strength training in the gym, working with heavier weights and lifting."
Downtime and recovery is important too
The life of a pro racer involves a lot of riding, a lot of training, and a whole lot of travelling, especially when the season kicks in. While training and preparation is important, equally important is time taken for recovery, and that includes mental recovery as well as physical.
Physical recovery includes regular post-training massages, less a luxury and more an important part of keeping hard-working muscles in tip top condition. "When I'm on the road with my Canyon//SRAM team we will generally receive daily massages to help our recovery process and to keep us performing at our full potential" she comments.
Cromwell also takes time each day to relax, do the usual life admin we all have to do, meet friends in town for coffee, or just Netflix and chilling out.
2017 is Cromwell's second year on the Canyon//SRAM team, which formed in 2016. With kit sponsor Rapha, it's fair to say that the team livery is some of the most distinctive and sought-after in the pro peloton. The multi-coloured flashes inspired by hazard warning tape on a black background emblazon kit, accessories, helmets and the Canyon bikes themselves.
Cromwell, known for her impeccable style and with a keen interest in fashion, is understandably a fan. "It’s really cool looking kit and I love the pop of colour," the Australian rider told BikeRadar during the kit launch in 2016. "I think when you put this kit on you’re ready for business: all the pieces fit really well [together], it’s aero, fits in all the right places and the fabrics are soft on your body."
If you're a dedicated supporter of the team (or even if you just like the colours) you can purchase both race kit and bike in the team colours for yourself - though if you want a bike, you'll need to get a good chunk of savings together.
Style and substance
In addition to her undisputed racing pedigree, Cromwell is also an adept and engaging Instagrammer. View her account and you'll peruse through pages of sundrenched training rides, stylish product shots and relaxed downtime.
You'll also spot that Cromwell is a keen chef, whipping up eyecatching, delicious and nutritious culinary creations that support her training. Just because you're watching what you eat, doesn't mean it can't be tasty, and Cromwell certainly proves that.
Planning her meals to ensure she's eating the right food for upcoming races is key, and Cromwell spends part of her downtime every day prepping ahead. Her meals are colourful, packed full of vegetables, lean protein and grains, and are certainly a great source of food inspiration for the training athlete.