“He’s so chilled, he’s almost horizontal.” Condor's newest recruit swaps Men in Black for the All Blacks as he starts Road to Rio.
Alex Frame is a lad back chap. “He’s so chilled, he’s almost horizontal,” says John Herety, and for anyone who knows one of Britains most famous managers, this is high praise indeed. His new signing for 2016 has already helped the team secure their first UCI win, the first British to record a UCI win of the 2016 too. 22 year-old Frame, hailing from New Zealand, shares his calm demeanour with fellow team mate, Ed Clancy.
In fact, there are an awful lot of similarities between the two riders, which have contributed to Team JLT Condor’s all-consuming domination of the Tour Series. Both tall, solid builds, fast on the flat, World Champions, and in the same event; the team pursuit and as of today they will both be going to Rio.
Ed is a vetran of both the Tour Series and Olympics, this will be his third Olympiad, whilst for Alex, a boxing fan, painter in his spare time, the Tour Series has been a whirlwind.
“These last few weeks racing around the UK has been awesome for me. The tour series has lived up to its reputation.” Explains the Kiwi, the exhausting ten race event has given him a whistle stop tour of everything that Britain has to offer.
“In five weeks I've been to two capital cities, a self-governing island [Isle of Man], seen the Welsh mountains, the north and the south, Ikea Croydon. I’ve seen it all.”
He hasn't been put off by the typical British weather either. “Diving in and out of corners for an hour in the rain with the boys chasing down these wins has been heaps fun.”
Both Ed and Alex will now head off to their respective team training camps; Team GB / British Cycling notoriously secretive about their training and equipment. Ed jokingly referring to this intense period of training as ‘the Days of Doom’ which begin at 6am and don’t end until 4pm every day for two weeks.
Instead of flying home, and then back across the world to Rio, the New Zealand team will meet in the Northern Hemisphere to begin their build up, “I'm heading to Belgium with the NZ team.” Says Alex, who used the Tour Series as part of his Rio build up cycle, “the way I have planned my year with these races should have me into going really well once I jump back on the track.” And he’s confident of his ability heading to ‘The Marvelous City’in August. “The work I have done here in the UK is going to set me up for a successful campaign through to Rio.”
Alex has a right to feel positive, despite Great Britain’s domination of the Olympic title in the last three games, last year it was Frame’s New Zealand quartet that snatched the rainbow bands away from his current team mate Ed Clancy, by the narrowest of margins.
It seems that Condor fans will have to split their allegiances come day 6 of the games. Potentially both riders could come away with an Olympic medal, alas they won’t be matching colours.
Olympic Track programme will take place in the Rio Olympic Velodrome, on the Olympic park in the Barra region of Rio de Janeiro. Team pursuit will take place on Day 6 and 7 of the games (August 11th and 12th).