In Her Own Words: Tiffany Cromwell Previews Festival Luxembourgeois – Elsy Jacobs

Wed 24 Apr 2013

Next on the calendar for ORICA-AIS is the Festival Luxembourgeois – Elsy Jacobs, which is hosted around the beautiful countryside of Garnich, Luxembourg. The three day tour is named after Elsy Jacobs, the winner of the inaugural UCI World Championships Road Race for women back in 1958. As a 2.1 race on the UCI calendar, the tour will attract many of the top teams, all of which are hoping to win valuable UCI points. In her own words, Tiffany Cromwell previews Elsy Jacobs.

We start off with a short, sharp 1.8 kilometre prologue on Friday. It’s just outside the centre of Luxembourg City in Mamer. The route can be a little bit technical because they put us on bike paths in some sections. There are a couple of short climbs but it’s a straightforward course for the most part. We’ll go out there and give 100%. There is nothing to lose in a race so short. The time gaps at the end will be very small, but they can be the difference between winning or losing the tour.

The first road race starts in Garnich, the hometown of Elsy Jacobs. The race opens with a 53 kilometre loop. The roads are nice and rolling all the way around. Nothing much will happen in this part of the race.

After the opening loop, we will do five laps of the finishing circuit, which will be quite difficult. Through the start/finish there is a little but solid climb. Out on the circuits we will face sometimes narrow and always undulating roads. When it’s raced really hard, it can split up the peloton. Towards the end it’s wide open, and the road continues up and down. It can get windy on this section of the course, which can cause more splits. The road continues to roll into a fast downhill until it begins to go uphill about one kilometre from the finish.

This style of course presents several different scenarios that could unfold. In the past we have seen a breakaway or a small group of 15 to 20 riders come to the finish line together. It would be unexpected if it were a massive bunch sprint. If it’s an aggressive race, we’ll end up with a small group. If it’s not, it could be a bunch sprint.

The third and final day of racing is a road race in Mamer. The race begins with the exact same opening lap from day one except that we start from a different point. Last year, the finish circuit changed, and now it’s nowhere near as selective as previous years when the circuit included a short, steep climb with a technical downhill to the finish. Now the race starts with a draggy, stair-step climb. It’s a fast climb that sprinters can get over unless we race it really, really hard and aggressively. This stage is probably more for the sprinters but that’s the beauty of racing in Luxembourg - it’s not super hilly nor is it super flat.

Luxembourg is a beautiful country with its picturesque settings and its famous chateaus. The roads are winding and rolling with technical spots but not saturated with road furniture like in Belgium and Holland. They invite an aggressive style of racing.

ORICA-AIS will be focused on both stage wins and the overall. We have the ability for both. The team has had a lot of podiums this year but not a lot of wins. We want those wins.

This style of racing is perfect for us. We have riders that can hold their ground in the climbs but no one that is a true mountain goat. The in-between stuff is our real strength. If we come to the finish with the sprinters, we can line things up for Nettie [Annette Edmondson].

ORICA-AIS for Festival Luxembourgeois – Elsy Jacobs:

Amanda Spratt (@amandaspratt)
Annette Edmondson (@nettieedomondson)
Emma Johansson (@emmaprocyclist)
Jessie MacLean (@aussiejessmac)
Shara Gillow (@sharagillow)
Tiffany Cromwell (@tiffanycromwell)