Polartec will host a team building in Arizona with 14 riders from the Continental and U-23 teams

Polartec, the first sponsor of the Alberto Contador Foundation teams, will host from next Wednesday and during a week 14 riders and the majority of the technical staff, led by Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso.

This building camp will take place in Tucson (Arizona), taking advantage of the good weather of this American state and the excellent routes that cyclists from the team can ride.

The riders who will travel to Arizona are Alejandro Ropero, Jorge Pastor, Daniel Viegas, Sergio Hernandez, Juan Pedro Lopez, Daniele Cantoni, Hugo Sampedro, Joan Martí Bennassar, Sergio Garcia and Carlos Garcia (Team U23), plus Isaac Cantón, Juan Camacho, Diego Pablo Sevilla and Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, the four Spaniards from the new Continental team (Maximal-Bonus.com).

For all of them, in addition to the technical staff of the Contador Foundation and the invited media, a series of routes have been planned in which the new designs of the Polartec fabrics and garments for next season well be tested.

A total of four bike trips are planned, with a total of 435 kilometers and a positive climb amount of 5,000 meters, which will contribute to the winter preparation work of the riders and will surely be able to test the physical shape of those who sign up to do each stage, especially the last one, with the climb to Mount Lemmon, at 2,880 meters above sea level.

Fran Contador, general manager of the Alberto Contador Foundation, hopes that this trip to Arizona will lay the foundations for a successful 2018 season. “Polartec’s invitation to Arizona is a great starting point for next season. It will be an unforgettable experience for all of us and an opportunity to team up and prepare in the best possible conditions the 2018. Once again, Polartec demonstrates its commitment to the Contador Foundation project, with whom it will continue the next three years developing its technical garments of very high quality”.

Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso presented the new jersey of the Polartec-Kometa in London

Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso visited the Rouleur Classic cycling fair in London on Friday, where they presented their new project to the British fans, the Polartec-Kometa Continental Team.

Gary Smith, president of the manufacturer of fabrics Polartec that continues one more year as main sponsor of all teams of the Alberto Contador Foundation, presented together with both riders and in world premiere the new jersey for the 2018 season, which will also assume the preparation and design of all cycling clothing, in addition to the manufacture of fabrics. The event was also attended by Lorenzo Negri, commercial director of the Italian food group Kometa, who has joined as second sponsor the Contador Foundation for next three seasons.

Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso were warmly received by British fans and offered some details of the new Continental team, which will also be development team and nursery for Trek-Segafredo cyclists.

“We are very motivated with this project, which is another step forward for the Contador Foundation,” said Alberto. “It’s a very young team, but we have a lot of confidence in the quality of our riders and the only thing we ask them to do is to work hard to become great professionals.”

The Polartec-Kometa will gather all its men for the first time in the visit they will make next Wednesday at the Mapei Sport Center, which will be responsible for the preparation of the team. “With this first training camp we started the work for next season,” says Ivan Basso. “We are a new team and we have a lot of work to do, but we are trying to offer our riders the best means to achieve their goals and that is why we try to collaborate with the best, such as the Mapei Sport Center”.

Alberto Contador speak about the Tour 2018

“They have designed a very complete Tour. The first important contact will be the team time trial. At the beginning of the race they will have to be attentive to the wind and some finishes like the Wall of Bretagne or later in Mende, which always make some differences, but the first day really important will be Roubaix, with many stretches of cobblestones. To watch it on TV will be nice, but for the riders who are there is always a risk, it is a day of great tension for all the teams that have thoroughly prepared the Tour and that in a day can finish everything. It will be very spectacular.

There are very hard stages, with mythical finishes like the Alpe d’Huez and other with novelties at the end: it is always good to know other mountains. There is also an initiative that I find very attractive, which is to do a kind of time trial with 3 climbs. It’s a shame they put it now and not before! au.cpaymentmethods.com: Those are stages that invite to make spectacle, are difficult to control for a team, stages in which you can break the block and that makes it especially attractive.

And finally there is an individual time trial not excessively long, which can make Froome not have as much advantage against climbers as on other occasions. In general terms it will be a fairly open Tour.

The Alberto Contador Foundation reach an agreement with Mapei Sport Research Center for the preparation of Polartec-Kometa’s riders

The Alberto Contador Foundation, responsible for the new Trek-Segafredo development team, whose main sponsors are Polartec and Kometa, has chosen the Mapei Sport Research Center to prepare and monitor its riders.

Ivan Basso, sports manager of this international project, with riders from countries such as Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria or Belgium, including the Italian and Spanish U-23 champions, Matteo Moschetti and Isaac Canton, as well as the junior champion of Europe, Michele Gazzoli, explains this decision: “Myself have been followed during eight seasons, the best years of my career, by the Mapei Sport Center. Bringing the team that I direct to a center of excellence like this is for me a vctory. Luca Guercilena has also worked to carry out this collaboration and we are convinced that the follow up of our young people by the specialists of the Mapei Center is a guarantee for them to grow better and get them to the first team soon”.

Claudio Pecci, director of health at the Mapei Sport Research Center, said: “We are delighted to formalize this partnership, we are always on the side of young people. Our technicians will do everything possible to provide a level of support adapted to their needs. We’ll support these promising cyclists in both the peformance tests and the organization and supervision of training, providing cutting-edge scientific support”.

Andrea Morelli, responsible for cycling and the Laboratory of Analysis of Movement, added: “For Mapei Sport and especially for me it is a great pleasure to return to work with Ivan Basso. The fact that two champions like him and Alberto Contador are dedicated to a young and dynamic team is a challenge. Knowing that they have chosen our structure is a source of pride for us, but it also means that the work developed with Ivan Basso, first with Aldo Sassi and then with me, has left an indelible mark”.

Luca Guercilena, CEO of Trek-Segafredo, concludes: “For our team, investing in young people is not only a necessity, but also an ethical commitment to the future of cycling. Working with Alberto we have known his Foundation and his way to work with young people, and that is why we have proposed to them the management of this great project. Our objective is to try to help to grow the best talents, and trusting in Mapei Sport we are sure to have found the best way to do it.

In the image, from left to right: Luca Guercilena, Andrea Morelli, Ivan Basso and Claudio Pecci.

28 cyclists attended in Zaragoza to the fifth Campus of Selection ‘La Mafia se sienta a la mesa’

During last weekend (22 to 24 September) was celebrated the V Campus of Selection, sponsored by the chain of restaurants ‘La Mafia sits at the table’, that in this occasion hosted 28 cyclists, cadets of second year and junior of first, of which 13 riders will form the next Polartec-Kometa junior team of next season.

According to Félix García Casas, technical director of the Alberto Contador Foundation, “we have seen racers with a very good sports level and also with a high level of personal background, which makes us optimistic about the team we are going to have next year.”

The Campus was developed according to the traditional patterns in past editions, with groupal activities, personal interviews and, as a novelty, a psychological test related to the sport and a 3 km individual time trial to evaluate as accurately as possible qualities of each participant.

Alberto Contador, now with more time available for the activities of his Foundation, also went to the Campus and gave a talk to the riders, in addition to sharing with them the traditional bicycle ride to the Virgin of Dorleta, where the time trial test was also performed.

Contador and Basso ‘open’ the Giro 101º in Israel

The Giro, which seeks to innovate in its number 101, will leave for the first time (some information says that on payment of 12 million euros) from outside Europe. “We are confident that it will be a beautiful experience for both Israel and Italy and for the rest of the world,” said Mauro Vegni, director of the ‘Corsa Rosa’ to MARCA before the presentation, which was attended by more than a hundred people.

In this act, which served to reveal the first three stages but not the full tour – to be announced in another presentation at the end of October or early November in the transalpine country – stressed the great satisfaction it represents for all those involved create a departure as special as the one of 2018, which will be born in the Holy Land.
“Jerusalem is a holy city that mixes all cultures and religions. We want to create an emotive beginning that can be seen all over the world,” said Ran Margaliot, an excercist (he was Alberto Contador’s partner in Saxo Bank) and current director of Israel Cycling Academy, an Israeli team that was born last year and could be present in the Italian round.
For Israel’s leaders, the event will be “the greatest sporting spectacle ever to happen in the country.” In Israel, which have already hosted other events such as the World Under 21 football, the MTB World Championship or the Eurobasket, they want the Giro step to increase and develop the already advanced interest in cycling in this territory.
As for the three initial stages (May 4, 5 and 6), the first will be a fairly hard 10-km chrono-prologue with demanding starts and finishes in Jerusalem where riders will pedal close to the Wailing Wall. The second stage of 167 km will leave Haifa, north, and will end in Tel Aviv. It will be propitious for sprinters, while the third, 228 km and ‘rompepiernas’, will leave Beer Seva and end in Eilat. They will spend almost the entire day in the desert and end up near the Red Sea.

 

As for the three initial stages (May 4, 5 and 6), the first will be a fairly hard 10-km chrono-prologue with demanding starts and finishes in Jerusalem where riders will pedal close to the Wailing Wall. The second stage of 167 km will leave Haifa, north, and will end in Tel Aviv. It will be propitious for sprinters, while the third, 228 km and ‘rompepiernas’, will leave Beer Seva and end in Eilat. They will spend almost the entire day in the desert and end up near the Red Sea.
The presentation culminated in the presence of relatives of Gino Bartali, the Italian champion who saved several Jews by hiding passports on his bicycle while training. “He is the best figure to pay homage in this Giro, nobody joins better than he to two countries like Italy or Israel. He was a champion and in this edition we will pay a nice tribute,” said the organizers.

Alberto Contador, for his part, applauded the initiative. “It’s a good thing for me that the Giro comes out of here, we’re talking about a place with charm, I was in Israel a few years ago and I really liked it, it’s going to be an incentive for a race that is always attractive,” said the winner. of the ‘Corsa Rosa’ in 2008 and 2015. He was joined by Ivan Basso: “For an Italian like me this race is always the most important, we will see an incredible round again and this exit will help increase the spectacle.” With eight months to go, the 101st edition of the Giro has already started in the Holy Land

These are the profiles of the first three stages:

MARCA

Adios Alberto

“Today has been a magical day. A day I will always remember.”

Alberto Contador said his final farewell in stage 21 of the Vuelta a Espana Sunday, fittingly arriving alone onto the start of the local circuits in Madrid, which signaled the end of the ceremonial parade and for the racing to begin.

“I have no words to explain the feeling I had for this moment,” said Contador. “It was incredible coming across the finish line alone, in my home city. It’s been an amazing day. I rode through a lot of roads that I know and received the affection of all the people; I feel blessed.”

“I think the next time I come through here it will be in the car and I won’t have the roads all to myself,” he added smiling. “For me, this has been a very special day; it’s a dream, and I could not imagine a goodbye better than this.”

The final laps were fast and furious and finished as expected with the sprinters getting one last go at glory. While Edward Theuns couldn’t find his sprinting legs after three hard weeks of climbs and selfless team support for Contador and finished in 13th place, Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) sprinted to his fourth victory.

And arriving seconds later was Contador, crossing his last finish line in front of his hometown fans to officially end his incredible 15-year career.

Contador has left behind a legendary palmarès that will forever be etched into the history of cycling.  Although he never reached the podium of his final Vuelta, his panache was brilliant throughout.  And fitting for a legend, Contador ended his last race in stage 20 with a victory atop the mythical alto de l’Angliru.

“For sure I feel this is the moment to stop. When I started as a professional I said when I finish I want to finish at the top level and I think now is the perfect moment for this,” he explained. “I gave everything in this Vuelta, and I must say thanks to Trek-Segafredo for giving me the opportunity to attack when I wanted, and be able to enjoy my last race.”

With all the public affection being showered on me, I can only say thanks, thanks, and thanks.

His attacking style will be missed. When Contador fell ill in the first mountain test of the three-week race and lost over two and a half minutes, his bid for overall victory was all but finished. But it opened the door for Contador to race as he knew how: on heart.

“I have to say that I immensely enjoyed this race; I savored every minute,” continued Contador. “With all the public affection being showered on me, I can only say thanks, thanks, and thanks. I gave maximum effort, 100 percent, in every race for the last 15 years, I trained very hard, and I did all with my heart. I think this is very important. Of course, cycling is a sport where the most important thing is the victory, but I also think it’s important to give a spectacle.”

“I attack because it’s my way of racing. Obviously, you can be more conservative and try to finish 4th or 5th or 3rd or 8th, and lose the minimum possible, but that way of racing is not for me,” he added.

It was a special day for Contador, shared by his teammates as they pedaled a ceremonial lap to salute the fans, and then enjoyed a podium celebration to honor a legend.

“I’m very proud. I heard ‘Vamos Alberto’ over and over throughout the race, and it can only mean that people have enjoyed watching your performances, and they recognize your work. I couldn’t have chosen a better time or place to retire. For me, it was a hard Vuelta, but I enjoyed every minute of it. On a climb, when your legs are really hurting, and you see a sign and hear shouts of encouragement, that is like a present for me,” Contador said.

“Today has been a magical day. A day I will always remember.”

Trek-Segafredo & Bettini Photo

La Vuelta: Contador says farewell with win on Angliru

It’s the stuff of legends.

In the ultimate mountain stage of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana, with rain making for a treacherous race, Alberto Contador, as he has done hundreds of times in his career, attacked.

After following teammate Jarlinson Pantano’s acceleration on the slick and dangerous descent ahead of the 12-kilometer climb that ended stage 20, Contador set off, and by the top of the iconic ascent, had added one final, glorious stamp to his amazing passport of palmarès.

Contador’s celebration will be his last, and certainly, was one of his most meaningful.  It has been a roller coaster ride in his final season, never achieving what he hoped for, but only legends can rise to the occasion in the last opportunity, and Contador did just that with a fantastic and historic win atop the Angliru.

Contador said: “The truth is it has been a very, very special day. I think it’s very difficult to say good bye in a better way than this, in this place, in this event. In the end, it’s a full stop at the end of a career in which I have done everything I wanted. I think it’s been a beautiful Vuelta even though I am not on the podium. But perhaps if I had been in contention for the overall podium I would have ridden in a different way, more conservative, and instead I have ridden the race I have ridden – I look at the photos, and almost every day there are pictures of me alone because I have been on the attack.”

Contador fell short of the final podium by 20 seconds, but it mattered little – he finished his career on top, and he did it in the only way he knows how. It was a thrilling show of panache as he fought his way up the Angliru in front of thousands of home country fans, and when he pointed his famous gesture for the final time as he crossed the line, it gave goosebumps to even the most stoic.

“I knew it was going to be a very special day, the road full of people and everyone watching the stage, and I set the goal for myself of winning on the Angliru,” continued Contador. “This morning I wanted to win, and when I crossed the line, I thought to myself: goal completed.”

“In the end, we couldn’t take the podium, but this is not what’s important,” added Contador.  “What’s important is to take the victory of the stage and finish with this result for the rest of my life.”

All this was made possible by the warriors surrounding Contador.  His teammates pulled in the first half of the short 117.5-kilometer stage to keep an 18-man breakaway in check, keeping them at roughly one minute.

When the climbing started his trusted lieutenant, Pantano, went to work. Pantano not only paced Contador up the ascents but also led him safely down the other side, crucial on the final slick descent where numerous crashes occurred. It was here that the pair created a gap on the rivals, which opened the door for his last attack.

“I spoke with teammates ahead yesterday and said that tomorrow could be one day for the history.  They gave 100% to control the first part of the race. All the riders helped me, and especially Pantano for the descent of the Cordal. We started the Angliru with some seconds to the rivals, and then I knew it was my time and I needed to give the maximum until the top and try to win,” explained Contador.

“Today’s attack was different because it was an attack on the descent. It’s unusual in the history of cycling for this on a dangerous descent, but Jarlinson attacked, and I went with him,” he added.

That gap was all they needed. Pantano threw everything he had left into the first part of the Angliru, emptying himself to a standstill, and Contador finished his work, paying back his team with a victory, and giving the fans a farewell to remember.

“I have been able to enjoy the affection of all the people who say thank you to me. It’s been a remarkable month, unforgettable,” ended Contador. “I think in the future it’ll be remembered that in my last day of competition, I finished it with a win.”  

Trek-Segafredo Press & Bettini Photo

The Alberto Contador Foundation, in charge of the new Trek-Segafredo development team, with Polartec and Kometa as sponsors

The Alberto Contador Foundation will manage the new Trek-Segafredo development team, a continental squad that will be sponsored by Polartec and Kometa.

Alberto Contador, as creator of the Foundation that bears his name, joins in this way his former teammate and friend Ivan Basso, who will be the sport manager for the project, while Fran Contador will take over the administrative management.

Trek-Segafredo has relied on the experience accumulated in the last five seasons by the Alberto Contador Foundation in the management of its junior and under-23 teams, as well as the school for the youngest, to take another step forward in training young cyclists during their first professional stage.

The new team aims to offer an opportunity for professional training for young people from both the Contador Foundation and other European and world schools, continuing the work already initiated by Trek-Segafredo and which has been main responsible Ivan Basso during this last season. The sponsors, the US firm Polartec and the Italian company Kometa, who are also of the Alberto Contador Foundation, have signed a three-year commitment, which guarantees the project’s stability.

The team will have the bikes and the technical support of Trek Factory Racing, will be the team where the future Trek-Segafredo cyclists mature and will have its operational base in Pinto (Madrid), in the same headquarters of the rest of the teams of the Foundation Alberto Contador, but also with a strong connection with the Italian Valtellina, especially with Bormio, where the team will organize successive training camps in different periods of the season.

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Ivan Basso: “This team is the realization of a professional dream that Alberto and me have matured for a long time, after sharing many experiences as cyclists and friends. We wanted to create something together and I am happy and proud to have achieved this thanks to the support of Trek-Segafredo, who for a year has given me the responsibility to follow the young talent linked to its team. Our main objective is to continue working with the young people, an ideal that has united us, Trek-Segafredo, Polartec and Kometa in this adventure”.

Alberto Contador: “What has united Ivan and me in this project is the illusion of giving back to cycling a little of everything that it has given us. We are convinced that by joining forces we can do much more to help young people reach professional level. Thanks to Polartec and Kometa, along with the fundamental support of Trek-Segafredo, where I feel like at home, Contador Foundation, directed by my brother Fran, takes a very important step and adds a Continental team to the School and teams Juniors and Under-23, which will continue to form the young riders in the values embodied in cycling: teamwork, solidarity, perseverance and sacrifice. “

Luca Guercilena: “To Trek-Segafredo to invest in the young is not only a necessity, but also an ethical commitment with the future of cycling. After a year of working with Alberto, we have a lot of confidence in his Foundation for the work they are doing with the young people and that is why we have offered them the management of this great project. As a professional team, our goal is to find and develop the best cycling talent and we believe that with the Alberto Contador Foundation we have found the best way to do it”.

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Alberto Contador will say goodbye to professional cycling at next Vuelta a España

Alberto Contador has announced through a video in his social networks that next Vuelta a España will be his last race as a professional cyclist.

In the recording, the leader of Trek-Segafredo Team explains that he has meditated very well this decision and believes that the Tour of Spain is the best possible scenario to say goodbye to the bike and to the fans in the way they deserve.

Until the start of the Vuelta a España, next August 19 in Nimes (France), Alberto Contador will remain training to face in full form his last challenge and will be at the disposal of the Media in the usual Press Conference that will be held on Friday, August 18, at the Trek-Segafredo Team Hotel.

Hotel C Suites 152, Rue Claude Nicolas Ledoux 30900 Nimes (France)