Tasmania's leading female road cyclist has joined a major American team in the hope of taking the step up to the sport's highest level.
Signing with Tibco Silicon Valley for the remainder of the season, Launceston's 2020 virtual National Road Series champion Nicole Frain is delighted to be back in competition and confident the move will increase her prospects internationally.
"The team is going WorldTour next year so it's a huge opportunity and hopefully I get a contract for 2022," the 29-year-old said from America.
"It feels like a long time since I have raced with COVID affecting the NRS in Australia for so long. Having arrived in the US within a week and 40 hours of travel from Australia and a serious case of jetlag, I don't want to put too much pressure on myself and hope I can perform my team role as best I can as well as enjoy the moments."
Frain is set to begin racing on Thursday with the four-day Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Riding with the Sydney Uni Staminade team, Frain finished third in last year's National Road Series. Having won the virtual series during the COVID shutdown, she secured the podium place by finishing behind winner Sarah Gigante and former TIS Racing teammate Ruby Roseman-Gannon at the Tour of Tweed in NSW.
Frain, who finished eighth and 20th in the time trial and road race respectively at the national road championships in 2019, won the day-two criterium in Murwillumbah to take an early lead in the tour.
She is the reigning Tasmanian road champion and frequently competes in races against the state's top male riders.