The EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team U23 promoted by the Contador Foundation has finished a first week of vigorous and energetic preseason work that has been held one more year with the facilities of Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort as a base of operations, a first preseason training camp that has been developed in parallel to the one that the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team is holding these days in the same location.
The formation directed by Rafa Díaz Justo has completed a calendar full of activities in which the bicycle and the personalized tuning of some materials and components have had a crucial role, with moments also for the disconnection and the rest. “A ride around the Oliva Nova beach is very relaxing”, smiled Haimar Etxeberria. But more than the waters of the Mediterranean, the asphalt has been more of a protagonist. The roads of the regions of La Marina Alta and La Safor have been the epicentre of the work on the bike.
Places such as Vall de Laguar, Vall de Seta or Vall d’Ebo and the quiet routes of the Serra de la Carrasca, Serra del Migdia, Serra del Penyó or Serra del Carrascal de Parcent hosted many of the rides of these days, rides shared with a good part of the international professional peloton. Anecdotally, during some of the rides, a world champion and current Vuelta a España champion such as the Belgian Remco Evenepoel shared kilometres with the young blue squad.
Ramón Fernández, Asturian rider of the U23 team: “I really enjoy these training sessions, I love the area. I’ve been sick for a week and to start training in these conditions, with these temperatures, is something that I really appreciate. And of course, staying in Oliva Nova is a real luxury. After these days of hard work it’s time to continue with the work at home, but it won’t be long before I’m back on the roads of the Costa Blanca”.
For the Italian rider Andrea Montoli, one of the veterans of the squad: “I really like training in Oliva. It’s one of the moments when we all really get together and also share everything with the professionals and all the staff of the Foundation. They are very nice days. The weather is wonderful, spectacular conditions. On some roads you can enjoy the pleasant scent of orange trees. And then there is the safety on the roads. The cars are very respectful, patient and attentive to us.
Rafa Díaz Justo, director of the U23 team: “Once again, for another season, we have the opportunity to enjoy this first contact with the whole structure. The meeting is always important, as half of the team is new, and I have a very good taste in my mouth with what we have seen these days. The new riders are very interesting and they will allow us to continue being a solvent team, I wouldn’t say as in 2022, but they will allow us to face big challenges with the maximum guarantees. For 2023 we don’t have two great climbers like Fernando Tercero and Davide Piganzoli, a circumstance that can be noticed in a race like the Giro del Valle d’Aosta or in races of that style, but on the other hand the team gains a faster cyclist profile and capable of passing with guarantees the hardest half-mountain. Then, of course, it’s the road and the competition that speaks, all these are theories. You can’t interpret individual results, and even less so a priori. We want to do beautiful races, to do them well”.
Fran Contador, general manager of the Contador Foundation teams: “Both the professionals and the U23 structure need to do much more specific work in their pre-seasons with a view to the following season, work that presents longer distances in terms of mileage and duration and that requires, as far as possible, mild weather and an orography that allows for varied work. This, without a doubt, is what we have in Oliva. In Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Resort we have the best conditions to work, we feel at home. In fact, we have just renewed our collaboration until 2026, so we feel very fortunate because it is a luxury to have the support of Oliva Nova and Luis Borho”.