The Abu Dhabi Tour is in the bag and Alex Frame of Trek-Segafredo can reflect on a successful week all in all. The 24 year old has two World Tour stage races under his belt in his maiden season at that level and the five days in Abu Dhabi represented his first opportunity to really stretch his legs in the sprints.
Alex Frame’s Abu Dhabi Tour was a steep learning curve. The team entered with ambitions more towards the GC and mountains, leaving Frame to fend more for himself in the fast finishes that comprised stages 1-3. That put him up against riders like Elia Viviani, Caleb Ewan, Alexander Kristoff, Andre Greipel and Marcel Kittel. The experience of being thrown royally into the deep end was one Frame certainly seems to have taken in a positive light.
“It’s the first time I’ve sprinted with the sort of calibre of proper hitters; so I’m just trying to learn what to do and learn what’s up,” Frame told Aaron S. Lee. “[There are] heaps of sprinters here so it’s been wild, we’ve got a bit more GC and climbing guys so I’ve had to wing it on my own, waste a lot of energy trying to get to the sprint rather than saving energy for the sprint. The guys are just saying learn how to ride with them.”
Paddy Bevin wasn’t the only Kiwi making an limpact @Abu_Dhabi_Tour! 24yo neo-pro @lxframe (@TrekSegafredo) scored 4 top 25 results in five days amongst world class field! You’ll be hearing the name Alex Frame again | via @EurosportAUS @roadcycling #homeofcycling #RideToAbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/wUtPOmoefL
— Aaron S. Lee (@aaronshanelee) February 26, 2018
That’s been the biggest take home for Frame as far as the Abu Dhabi Tour has been concerned, the focus on learning, but it’s been a task he’s met with no shortage of enthusiasm. “[I’ve learned a] tonne of things, it’s crazy how much you don’t know until you’re in the middle of that group. A lot of it is trying to save energy in those last 5km, save energy and be in the top 20 with a couple of km to go,” Frame said.
“When you’ve got 100 guys also trying to do that it makes it pretty tight, you need to learn when the risks are appropriate, when to move up and when not to, what trains to follow and when to use your teammates when you can. It’s definitely been pretty intense, but I feel like I’ve learned a lot and really enjoyed it as well.”
The race days are already adding up nicely for A-Frame, who has 18 in the bag already with his first World Tour outfit in Trek-Segafredo. Stay tuned for where we might see the former track world champion from here as the European season kicks into full swing with the Spring Classics.