The green and gold striped jersey of the Australian national champion will be on display at the Tour de France Femmes, with Nicole Frain set to make her debut at the race for Parkhotel Valkenburg after a mid-season signing with the team .
The team with an admirable talent development record said the 29 year old who won the Australian road race title in January with a late attack had signed for the remainder of this season through to the end of 2023.
"I'm very happy with this contract, said Frain. “It gives me the serenity to make mistakes and learn from them, [rather] than to end up in a pressure cooker of stress. Now I have the time to settle down in Europe, without the constant pressure of performing and getting results."
There is little expectation, however, that Frain will do anything but grasp the opportunity with both hands now that she has signed with the team that helped launch Lorena Wiebes and Demi Vollering to the top ranks.
"I am naturally very driven," said Frain. "When someone says: You can't, I will show you how it's done, that's my motto."
Frain, who started out in the sport just four years ago, had a short stint with TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank in Europe at the end of the 2021 season, racing the first Paris-Roubaix Femmes, The Women’s Tour and Ronde van Drenthe. In that foray she didn’t manage to break through to anywhere near the top of the results list, however, in her European racing earlier this year with the Australian-based Roxsolt Liv SRAM, she has rarely been out of the top 20.
Frain came ninth overall at the Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, with her best stage result being sixth on stage 5, and only once finished out of the top 20 during the German stage-race. That was also the case at Vuelta a Andalucia.
Now Frain will have the opportunity to find out what she can do with a longer period of international racing, and the accumulation of experience that comes with it.
"I'm one of the older racers in age, but not in terms of cycling,” said Frain of the roster which is mainly filled with riders in their early 20’s. “I can learn a lot from my teammates here."
The new Parkhotel Valkenburg signing also will not be the only Australian to find a place in the European peloton in July, with NXTG Racing announcing that they have added Anya Louw to their roster. The 21-year-old, who has so often been in the shadow of Sarah Gigante (Movistar) at the Australian national championships, took out both the Australian U23 time trial and criterium title in 2022.
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Simone is a degree-qualified journalist that has accumulated decades of wide-ranging experience while working across a variety of leading media organisations. She joined Cyclingnews as a Production Editor at the start of the 2021 season and has now moved into the role of Australia Editor. Previously she worked as a freelance writer, Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg. Cycling was initially purely a leisure pursuit for Simone, who started out as a business journalist, but in 2015 her career focus also shifted to the sport.