The Alberto Contador Foundation has already completed its roster for the 2017 season, the fifth in the peloton of the U19 team and fourth of the Under 23, in which again there are many new riders and members of the technical staff, always with the aim of continuing to improve in the work of training new figures of national and international cycling.
Apart from the additions and deletions in both teams, among the most interesting changes is the increase in the number of U23 riders. “We have decided to increase the number of riders due to the demands of the calendar to be covered and because we want to be competitive to face each and every one of the races we go to”, explains Fran Contador, manager of the Foundation.
“We are reinforced with three riders from the now defunct Infisport and we are also incorporating their sports director, Gorka Beloki, who will be the second director of the team, supporting Rafa Díaz Justo. We have a very full calendar and Gorka has a lot of experience, he has given a very good image with his team, he knows the category and has done great things with few resources. He will bring a lot to the Alberto Contador Foundation”, continues the team manager. “And, of course, our best signings are the riders who are still with us. It has been a success to be able to keep them, because they are the ones the team needs”.
The team is completed with the arrival of three of the best juniors from the Alberto Contador Foundation and two very interesting foreigners, the Portuguese Daniel Viegas, winner of the last Vuelta a Besaya, and the British Harrison Jones, coming from a continental team in his country and who is eager to take advantage of this opportunity in Spain.
Fran Contador stresses that he has tried to make “a team as balanced as possible, with riders of all ages, with different objectives. In total we will have 4 first year riders, 4 second year riders, 6 third year riders, 1 fourth year rider and a final elite rider. In previous seasons we had very young teams, but this year we aim to improve the results and win more races, because it is also part of the evolution of these cyclists”.
The new U19, from the La Mafia Selection Campus
One more year, the U19 team has been deeply renewed thanks to the riders coming from the Selection Campus sponsored by the Italian restaurant chain ‘La Mafia se sienta a la mesa’. In addition, Fran Contador highlights this season “the addition of two foreign riders to the squad, because until now, apart from the occasional exchanges with the Belgian Tieltse Renners, which will continue, we have only had foreigners in the U23. Our goal is to continue to deepen the international character of the Alberto Contador Foundation and this is a further step. Our objectives do not change,” continues the manager of the Alberto Contador Foundation.
“We want to continue to educate good riders who, whether in our team or in others, can make the step up to U23, knowing the trade in depth”. In both categories, the objectives of the Alberto Contador Foundation are to “maintain and perhaps increase the number of races abroad, which is key to this project”, says Fran, “in order to be able to compare our riders with those from the rest of the world and for them to reach the same level”.
As for the technical team of the Contador Foundation, another very important reinforcement comes from HP Sports Science for the control of the health and preparation of all the riders. It is a multidisciplinary team created at the University of Murcia and made up of sports trainers, doctors, nutritionists and psychologists, which will also include Jorge Ramos, trainer of the Alberto Contador Foundation.
Fran Contador indicates that the idea has been “to offer our riders more personalised attention and exhaustive monitoring throughout the year to help them develop their full potential as much as possible. And of course, we hope that this will also be reflected in the performance and results of our teams”.
RH+/POLARTEC Under23 Team
Continue: Miguel Ángel Ballesteros, Joan Bou, Juan Camacho, Daniele Cantoni (Italy), Sergio Hernández, Juan Pedro López, Diego Pablo Sevilla and Fran Pérez.
Incoming: Isaac Canton, Iker Eskibel, Harrison Jones (Great Britain), Jorge Pastor and Daniel Viegas (Portugal).
U19 team arrivals: Claudio Clavijo, Tomeu Gelabert and Alejandro Ropero.
Sports directors: Rafa Díaz Justo and Gorka Beloki.
Departures: Fernando Barceló, Guillem Cassú, Álvaro Cuadros and Diego Noriega.
RH+/POLARTEC U19 Team
Continue: Joan Martí Bennassar, Marc Brustenga, Carlos García, David Cabezas and Hugo Sampedro. New recruits: Rodrigo Cascajo, Axel Clausse (Belgium), Domingo Estrada, Sergio García, Maties Gornals, Pol Hernández, Felipe Pavón and Jakub Pilecek (Czech Republic).
Sports directors: Félix García Casas and Guillermo Gutiérrez.
Departures: Carlos Álvarez, Cristian Fernández, José Antonio García and Íñigo González.