Frame focused on growth and development with Trek-Segafredo
New Zealander set to race Commonwealth Games in April
A former world champion in the team pursuit on the track, Alex Frame has moved out of the velodrome and is firmly focused on making his mark in the WorldTour with Trek-Segafredo.
The 23-year-old New Zealander was signed up to the team from 2018 after two strong seasons on the JLT–Condor squad that included a number of wins at 2.2 level.
With Trek-Segafredo starting its 2018 season in Australia with the Tour Down Under, Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Herald Sun Tour, it was little surprise that Frame was selected for all three events to start his Trek-Segafrdo career considering the ease of flying across from New Zealand.
The 15 race days provided Frame with opportunity to trial new roles and test his capabilities at the top level of the sport. Learning the tricks of the trade front of mind for the Kiwi. Frame explaining to Cyclingnews that he never felt "out of my depth or anything" but suffered in the heat of the Australian summer.
"The level, it is not too much harder or faster than some races that I have done in the past. Even Tour Down Under was a pretty low-key race for some of the hitters," Frame told Cyclingnews. "I want to get used to it and would love to be competitive, even this year, in Europe racing against the same guys."
Although Frame has several seasons of racing under his belt, he is keen to learn as much as possible in 2018 and ensure his transition into the WorldTour ranks is as smooth as possible. That doesn't mean Frame won't take the opportunity to pursue his personal ambitions should the moment arise.
"I really just want to learn as much as I can this year and really do everything I am told and do it well," he said. "Sometimes you just have to do what you are told and when the opportunities come, have a crack at that as well."
Although Frame has some understanding of where his strengths lie, sprints and prologues, he isn't boxing himself into a single category of cyclist just yet.
"I sort of need to work out what kind of rider I am as well," he said. "I know I can sprint but the team also sees me as a one-day rider. It would be good to try and develop there and see how I go. A lot of the big races that mean a lot to the team, you need to be more than just a sprinter to get around or even get to the end to sprint. I just want to keep the team happy and keep improving and I guess that is all you do really."
His work at the Herald Sun Tour in helping split the peloton in crosswinds and spending hundreds of kilometres on the front of the peloton two skillsets he believes he is quickly developing. Frame adding that he is already "doing stuff I couldn't do last year" having raced the Herald Sun Tour in 2017 with JLT Condor.
"Coming from the track you can be seen as a punchy sprinter. But if you can show that you can ride to 200 k on the front and get over some hard hills and get involved in crosswinds and do more than a sprint, it lifts your value as a rider and guy in the team," said Frame, who is also a multiple national scratch race champion on the track.
Frame hasn't just been impressing Trek-Segafredo team staff thus far in 2018 with Cycling New Zealand naming him in the road squad for the Commonwealth Games. The April even on the Gold Coast in Australia Frame's highest level call up to date on the road. Speaking to Cyclingnews before his place in the team was confirmed, Frame suggested that despite the call up it is no certainty that he starts.
"Even if I get named in the team, I don't know if I can do it as things change all the time with guys getting injured and race programmes and things. It would be really cool to do," said Frame.
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get The Leadout Newsletter
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!