Davide Frattini is a recent addition to the UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis squad as it prepares to jump from its current Continental status to the Professional Continental ranks in 2011. The Italian hopes to capitalize off his former European stage racing experience to bring the squad success in its international endeavors.
“It is a big motivation for me,” Frattini said. “I competed for a high-level team in Italy with Alessio before I started racing in the States. Having a second chance to race in Europe again more often is an extra motivation for me to do well.”
Frattini joins the team after a five-year term with the former US-based Colavita-Sutter Home squad from 2005-09. This year he is racing under the Team Type 1 banner where he captured the King of the Mountains jersey at the NRC Redlands Bicycle Classic, a podium at the UCI Vuelta Mexico Telmex and consistent top ten performances at the UCI Qinghai Lake International Cycling Race.
“I have to say thank you to Team Type 1 for having me be a part of their team this year,” Frattini said. “I think UnitedHealthcare is a great team and its management company [Momentum Sports Group] has done a great job with the other teams it has run in the past. They have always had a great program and strong riders so it was a nice opportunity for me to join that team for next year.”
Frattini is remembered for his win at the Under 26 ‘Baby’ Giro d’Italia in 2001 and his two-year stint with the now disbanded Italian Division 1 team Alessio.
“When I raced in Europe I was more of a stage race guy because we don’t have anything like criteriums in Italy,” Frattini said. “When I came to the US the teams here were more interested in criterium racing so I lost a lot of my climbing skills. In the last two years I have been working on my climbing skills again for stage races and have been less focused on the criteriums. It’s been my goal to start to feel what it means to be a stage racer and a climber again.”
UnitedHealthcare rehired many of its original riders including Rory Sutherland, Karl Menzies, Brad White, Adrian Hegyvary, Jonny Clarke, Hilton Clarke, Max Jenkins, Jake Keough and Morgan Schmitt. New additions include Frattini’s current Team Type 1 teammate Chris Jones and Scott Zwizanski (Kelly Benefit Strategies).
“I was a domestique for riders like the Haedos [Juan Jose and Lucas Sebastian] in the lead-outs plus the work I was able to do on the climbs for the climbers and then in the criterium for the sprinters showed that I am an all round rider,” Frattini said. “I also have many years of experience racing in Europe and this team will be doing a lot of that style of racing I used to do before coming to the USA.”
The team will hiring a total of 22 riders for the 2011 season. Sixteen of those riders will be dedicated to competing in some 70 events in Europe, 30 in Asia and the UCI stage races in the US. The remaining six to eight riders will continue racing solely inside the US at important National Racing Calendar (NRC) races and criteriums.
“For a team that wants to compete over in Europe at a high level needs riders that can compete on all kinds of terrain,” Frattini said. “I will be doing most of the stage races next year. But where ever the team sends me I will be there to cover the team work. If I have to lead-out I can do that, if I have to climb then I will climb and if I am given an opportunity to go for it, I will do that.”