Tiffany Cromwell to kick off 2023 gravel calendar in Australia at Nannup

·3 min read
 Tiffany Cromwell leading the peloton on the gravel roads of Strade Bianche 2022
Tiffany Cromwell leading the peloton on the gravel roads of Strade Bianche 2022

Tiffany Cromwell will be finishing her Spring Classics campaign on the road with Canyon-SRAM before returning to Australia to start her season of gravel racing in Nannup, her first foray of the season in the discipline ahead of an array of races.

"This year, I'm doing kind of a mix of US-based races," said the 34-year-old Australian. "I'm doing a few of the UCI races, too," said Cromwell of the new World Gravel Series. "I did try one last year. I didn't know what to think of what the UCI race was going to be but they’re something in their own right. They're very different to the US ones.

"I still want to do a mix of everything because I also saw the [UCI Gravel] World Championships is definitely is going to grow over the years."

Nannup is the first of those UCI Gravel Series races on the preliminary calendar of the rider, with the May 13 Western Australian race covering 125 kilometres with 3,200m of climbing. The race, with only the scantest paved section, has been quick to build a reputation within the series. It already has more riders on the start list of its full distance for 2023 than ever before. Nicolas Roche is among the Europe-based riders expected to make their way out to the race, which will host the first UCI Gravel World Championships outside of Europe in 2026.

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"All things I heard from last year said it was a very good event," Cromwell told a group of reporters, including Cyclingnews. "So obviously being in Australia is great ... and it comes at the end of the Spring Classics on the road so the timing is quite nice."

From there, Cromwell has the Gralloch UCI Gravel World Series pencilled in, a new race in the southwest of Scotland that covers 110km, starting and finishing in the small town of Gatehouse of Fleet.

"It looks interesting – again a few are just depending on what happens with the road team because if we need riders for races then I have to be a bit flexible," said Cromwell.

One race, however, that is high on her priority list is the 177km FNLD GRVL on June 10, which is described as the brainchild of Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas and the team behind SBT GRVL. Just before that will be Unbound Gravel on June 3, where she is planning to race the 100-mile event.

"Because I'm also still balancing with the road schedule and the gravel, I kind of have road for a chunk, a gravel month and then we go back to road," Cromwell said. "Then in August, I'll come back to gravel and do SBT GRVL and Belgian Waffle Ride Utah in Cedar City, because they are back to back," she said of the August 20 and August 26 races.

The UCI Gravel World Championships, where she finished sixth in 2022, is also potentially on the agenda along with BWR, Kansas – a race she won in 2021 – but "that part of the year is still, you know, up in the air," said Cromwell.

As for the road, for the Tour de France Femmes, it will be down to selections. "I always put my hand up for that race," said Cromwell. "But I'd be at the Giro or the Tour in the middle part of the year and then later in the year, I guess at some [other] stage racing. Up until then, it’s all one-day racing for me."