The INEOS Grenadiers have announced that Omar Fraile will be joining the team on a two year contract from January 2022.
The Basque rider, like many of his Northern Spanish compatriots, is a climbing and breakaway specialist. His palmares includes five mountain classification jerseys, two of which he collected at consecutive editions of the Vuelta a España, in 2015 and 2016.
This season saw him raise his arms in victory at the Spanish national road race championships, a result which he admitted has helped relieve some anxiety – having not had a victory for a while. The 183km hilly course provided Fraile with the opportunity of a late attack only a few hundred metres from the finish line, and outsprinting his competitors
“My win at the Spanish National Championships this year was one that I worked really hard for. Normally I’m always the one working hard for my teammates, so when you have the chance to raise your arms and cross that finish line first, it’s always going to be super special,” Fraile says. “To then have the opportunity to wear your national champs kit for the next season, that’s pretty special and rewarding too.””
When asked what’s been his most meaningful victory there’s no hesitation to his response; it’s his stage win at the Tour de France: “My stage victory in the Tour de France is the one I am most proud of, it’s the kind of victory you dream about when you’re a kid. Every cyclist knows how special that race is,” he says. “But when I think of other victories I’ve had, winning at Itzulia [Basque Country], my home race, in front of my family and friends, that’s something you don’t forget either.”
Fraile’s other speciality is that of the ever loyal teammate, his commitment to ensuring he gives everything to help his leaders win is what has caught the attention of INEOS Grenadiers’ Deputy Team Principal, Rod Ellingworth: “Omar is a rider that has been on our radar for a while, he has shown time and again his versatility as a bike racer and his willingness to help and show unwavering support to his teammates. An attitude that fits so well with the INEOS Grenadiers’ ethos. We’re excited to have him on board for the coming season, I think he will be a great fit for the team.”
Fraile equals Ellingworth’s enthusiasm on becoming part of the team and having the chance to demonstrate just how much of a team player he is: “INEOS has always been the team that you dream of riding for, it’s always been the team that I’ve looked at and wanted to race for,” he says.
“It’s a team where you see the riders really working together as a team, and that’s what I really enjoy doing, being there and working for my teammates. I think it’s going to be a good fit, and I’m really looking forward to working with everyone.”