The Alberto Contador Foundation will start next season a junior cycling team under the direction of José Luis Santos, a former professional rider and ex national team coach.
The team, whose budget is not yet closed, will be named Alberto Contador Foundation-Specialized. The American manufacturer will be the supplier of bicycles and other materials, as well as take care of the budget together with the Foundation. Most providers of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team will also support the project plus other new partners, who have embraced the idea enthusiastically.
Jose Luis de Santos will lead a group of no more than 15 young riders, of which are already confirmed the following: Oscar Linares, Pablo Noriega, Juanjo Pazos, Francisco Perez and Sergio Fernandez (Cantabria), Cristian Torres (Alicante), Enric Mas (Baleares), Álvaro Cuadros (Andalusia), Miguel Angel Ballesteros (Murcia), Miguel Angel Alcaide (Castilla La Mancha), Diego Pablo Sevilla and Victor Aguado (Madrid) and Fernando Barceló (Aragon).
“It’s a very exciting project. Being close to Alberto and Fran Contador is a great opportunity and did not hesitate when they offered me the chance”, said Jose Luis de Santos. “Going back to work with the cycling base is very nice and I think we can bring many things to the formation of the riders. In addition, the project will continue to grow and this foundation can be very important for the future of Spanish cycling”.
The idea of the Foundation has materialized thanks to the personal commitment of Alberto Contador, who thus wants offer to a new generation of cyclists the opportunity to have the best means available, without forgetting their education, key in this category, between 17 and 18 years old. “We are thrilled with this project”, says Alberto Contador, “because we are working for the future of our sport, which is something we love. We want to support the quarry cyclist in a particularly difficult time in which many teams and many races are disappearing”.
Fran Contador, team manager, said for his part that, above “a good sports curriculum, the selection of riders has been done having into account the human qualities and enthusiasm for the project that showed the boys, something fundamental in this category”. This team is only the beginning of an ambitious project. “This should be something long lasting, a long term project to ensure the formation of the guys until they can reach the top flight”, says Fran Contador. “The first season will begin with the junior team, but we extend it to the next with a under 23 team and probably other for women, thus completing the cycle prior to jumping to professionalism, without this meaning that we give up to the top flight, but for now the idea is to become the reference for young teams”.
(Automatic translation. Forgive inaccuracies).