The Contador pattern, debut at the Giro

Jose Carlos Carabias

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That September 9, 2017, on top of Angliru that fired him from the heyday, Alberto Contador changed his skin. Intoxicated by the victory in his farewell, he hung up the jersey, transformed his mind, restored his life … He stopped being the exciting cyclist who expressed himself on the attack, always in challenge mode, a winner of the Tour, the Giro and the Vuelta, to become what it was not. Entrepreneur, smith, patron. Contador created the foundation that bears his name in 2013 to promote cycling schools and stroke visibility. A seed sowing through its sub 23, junior and cadet teams, slow maturation of professional runners, which will lead to its first world catwalk this Saturday. Eolo-Kometa makes its debut in the Giro d’Italia, its first major, invited by the organization as a team with an Italian license that it is.

Contador was always a lively guy, who hunted them on the fly, without wasting anyone’s time. A former cyclist with no other training than basic studies and a traveling life in the professional peloton, he has sought new horizons. Participate in events organized by the technical sponsors of your professional team, offer motivational conferences and ‘coaching’ to companies and other organizations (the last one, at the Japanese embassy in Spain), designs competition bikes with his partners (Aurum Magma), talks about races at Eurosport, trains from time to time with his cyclists and enjoys his three-year-old son, Luca.

But in his work as a boss, as the head of a team, Accountant applies hours and a lot of sleeplessness to work. “It radically changes life,” he tells ABC. When you are a cyclist you have no other concern than training and competing. As the leader of a team, you play countless clubs, logistics, strategic decisions and are always aware of a thousand stories. I have more headaches now than before ». At the Eolo, Ivan Basso takes over the sports management, Fran Contador (the brother) leads the management and Alberto Contador leads. Decide if the ship takes one course or the other.

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The Eolo joins this cycling elite for financial support of an Italian businessman, Luca Spada, president and founder of the internet services brand. “The team has an Italian license, yes, because in Spain we did not find any company that supported us,” explains the double Tour winner. No matter how many doors we knocked on, there was no way to partner with a sponsor. We were very close in my last year as a professional. It was obviously easier with me on the job than now, that I’m retired.

Quarry of cyclists

The Eolo-Kometa handles a budget of three million euros, a drop of water in the sea against the colossi of the first division, such as the Ineos (45), the Emirates, (30) or even the Movistar (20). «Some cyclist of those who aspire to win the Giro receives as much as the budget of our team. We are aware of the economic limitations to retain talent “, says the Madrid native.

Numerous runners raised in the Contador foundation have jumped to the forefront. Enric Mas, Carlos Rodríguez, Juanpe López, Fernando Barceló, Álvaro Cuadros or Matteo Moschetti. «Sometimes it is a bit complicated to invest so much in the base so that the cyclists go to other teams later, but it is what there is, “he analyzes.

Most, or perhaps all of them, had Contador as their idol. Today is your boss. «I have always been very perfectionist and demanding. When I speak to them, I hope they see me as an expert person who takes care of details, not as an idol or boss. You can improve your performance with small contributions, the most comfortable shoes, the widest car to rest, the tighter pedals to avoid wasting time, head down in a time trial to gain seconds … ».

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Contador, who will be an analyst for the Giro at Eurosport – “I’ll try to be impartial,” he smiles – asks his team for a goal. “Visibility. I would like us to show a good image, of a serious and professional team that knows what it is doing. We have to be in the leaks, in the television pictures. There are eleven favorable stages and why are we not going to think about winning a stage ».

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