Italian Davide Frattini’s appearance at the 2014 Jayco Herald Sun Tour is not only his debut Australian race but the first time he's made it down under. His UnitedHealthcare team are back at the Australian race, which has been elevated to UCI 2.1 status again, and the all-rounder is enjoying his time on the Victorian roads.
"This is my first time in Australia, ever. My older brother did a couple of races as an U23 back in the day, the Commonwealth stage race or something like that. Even Grafton (Graton to Inverell) an old, old race but he's 11 years older than me," he explained to Cyclingnews.
Still acclimatising to the heat of the Australian Summer, Frattini is nevertheless glad to back on the bike after coming from the cold North American winter. "I really enjoy it, the team did this race two years ago when it was end of the season and for us it's a good start. Most of the riders, I'm coming from Toronto, are coming from cold weather so it's a good start. It's challenging.
"The heat was the main problem yesterday, training at below zero and coming here where its 40 degrees was a big shock to the system for sure but hopefully I get used to it."
With two riders who have podiumed in the race before, Ben Day and Karl Menzies, Frattini can call upon his teammates for that extra piece of advice.
"They've experienced the race here before, they've won here before. I actually took Hilton Clarke's spot who was sick over Christmas so they called me at the last minute and he would have made it three Australians. They [Karl and Ben] bring a lot of experience."
After his Australian adventure Frattini heads home for training then his first European races of the year including La classica di Primavera.
"After here I'm going back to the states for some training for the block of February. Then I'm heading to Europe for a couple of races in France then come Strade Bianchi and Milano-San Remo so it will be a nice block of Europe racing till probably May and this race is a good start [to the season]."