Frankie Hall

Frankie Hall is a rider on the DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK team, we caught up with her after the British National Road Race Championships.

For Frankie Hall the route to becoming one of the UK’s top racers hasn’t been straightforward. Starting as a hockey player, she was looking to become part of the GB squad. Unfortunately health issues stopped her from doing any exercise for a long period. So she headed to University where she tried triathlon and found she was quite good; winning the women’s category in her first race. Unfortunately a crash meant that she couldn’t run anymore, so cycling it was to be.

Frankie Hall, the road to becoming a professional cyclist hasn't been straightforward, but she's a fighter
Frankie’s road to becoming a professional cyclist hasn’t been straightforward, but she’s a fighter

Frankie says she’s always been a sporty, competitive type, so it was inevitable that she would get into racing. However she feels that as she came to cycling late, she is missing some of the race skills that other riders have. She’s obviously a quick learner though, with multiple top-10 finishes since joining DAS-Hutchinson-Brother UK. After finishing 10th at the recent National Road Championships, where she was competing riders from the Women’s World Tour, we asked Frankie a few questions.

So Frankie, 10th at the Nationals, riding with the UK’s best riders, you must be happy with that result?

Yeah I’m happy with the race now that I’ve been able to process it. You always want to do better and it’s easy to look back and wonder if you could have done anything differently, but I definitely learned a lot and have some positives I can take away. Looking at the quality of the group I was with gives me a lot of confidence that I can take forward into future races.

Frankie Hall was a top hockey player before she became a cyclist
Frankie Hall was a top hockey player before she became a cyclist

This is the second time you’ve ridden Saltburn, is it a ‘good’ course for you?

Yes, this is the third time I’ve ridden a course that uses Saltburn bank, but it was a slightly new course to nationals last year and Klondike in April! In my current form, last year’s course would have suited me better, but it’s definitely preferable to a flatter course!

For those that haven’t ridden Saltburn Bank, just how tough is it?

It’s tough. It’s basically a 60s sprint. The hardest part is over the top to the finishline for sure! Or coming into the first corner with speed you really don’t want to knock off. It was a grippy course because of the roads, after the first two hours there wasn’t much chill time.

That chase back with Claire Steels and Sophie Wright must have been tough, did you know you would get back on? Were you worried that the race was getting away from you?

It was definitely the toughest part of the race, but I knew with the wind and the gradient, as long as the lead eight didn’t keep attacking each other, we should be able to ride back on if we went all in to commit to getting across. We just had to ride sensibly and smoothly!

When you’re part of a team riding at the Nationals, which is an individual race, is there a plan, or was it every rider for themselves?

Nationals is a self funded event for us, and so there is no team plan, but we’re all close and I don’t think anyone would want to “ride down” or hinder another teammate. We naturally ride very well together and I think that was demonstrated on both Friday and Sunday! Having the jersey in the team would have been great no matter who was wearing it!

With DSM and Fenix having numbers in the break, were you tempted to sit in? You looked like you were doing your fair share on the race footage.

Yes I contributed to riding. It was in my best interests for us to stay away, I didn’t want to give the group any reason to attack me specifically and I was well within my comfort zone to ride through. It’s often easier to ride through smoothly than mess about at the back of a group!

Frankie Hall (centre) was part of the team's 1-2-3 at the Ixworth Crits
Frankie (centre) was part of the team’s 1-2-3 at the Ixworth Crits

You’ve got a mix of UK circuit racing and European Tours coming up, what type of racing do you prefer?

Based on my training and physiology, multi-day hilly races are what should suit me. I’ve done a lot of work to have repeatability and durability over 4-6 day blocks and so I’m excited to get stuck into a longer stage race next week in Portugal. The more attritional the race the better for me! Anything with some longer climbs and mountain-top finishes is what I want to do more of in the future.

Last question and it’s a sartorial one! What glasses are you wearing? They make it really easy to pick you out!

They’re Evil Eye Roadsense. Honestly some of the most comfortable glasses I’ve ever worn!

We’d like to thank Frankie Hall for taking the time to answer our questions. Frankie’s carried on with her winning ways since we spoke to her and we’ll cover that soon. You can catch up with what Frankie and the team are doing here. Want to ride like Frankie? Head over to Handsling Bikes and take a look at the A1R0evo that she rides.

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