• Nicole Frain of Sydney Uni-Staminade wins her first NRS stage on Day 2 of competition on the National Tour. (Jamie Finch-Penninger)Source: Jamie Finch-Penninger
It was Nicole Frain's first-ever win at National Road Series (NRS) level, garnering her Sydney Uni-Staminade team a vital victory in the NRS standings.
SBS Cycling Central

29 Nov 2020 - 9:01 PM 

It was a hot, blustery day in the Tweed Valley as Frain and Danielle De Francesco (Specialized Women's Racing) animated the criterium on Day 2 of National Road Series competition.

Frain has been a top competitor for the last year of national level racing, regularly placing with the best on the hardest stages of tough races like the Tour of Tasmania. Today was hers to claim a maiden victory, attacking midway through the race to jump over to De Francesco.

"My teammate Georgie (Whitehouse) came up to me and 'Bridge! Bridge across'," said Frain. "So I did and we managed to stay away.

The front pair were nearly swallowed up by a surge from the peloton, but despite the riders' lead getting to within a handful of seconds, the gap ballooned back out and got to a winning lead of 35 seconds with four laps, approximately 6.5 kilometres, remaining. Frain and De Francesco redoubled their efforts as ARA-ProRacing Sunshine Coast and Roxsolt combined in the chase, but it wasn't enough to drag back the escapees.

"We had our earpieces in and Donna (Szalinski) was letting us know how far it was, just work and if it comes back just be ready to jump back on.

"The final few laps you really don't want to get caught at that point, you've worked so hard for so long. I kept saying that to Danielle, 'just keep working, just three laps'. I tried to get the jump on her into the roundabout and I got a few bike lengths on her. Then on the final corner, I had three bike lengths and I committed to the finish."

Frain's name hasn't gone under the radar, with Sarah Gigante naming the Tasmanian as one of the favourites to take out the overall NRS title after the nine days of racing. Frain enjoyed the recognition, but is focusing on the process and the effort as much as the outcome at this point.

"I'm pretty stoked Sarah said that," exclaimed Frain. "I'm pretty sure she'd be my pick as well. I'm like her, I'm planning to try and race all of them. We've got this opportunity and I want to give it a good crack, we've got a good block and every day is different."