Invited by Polartec, Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso ‘passed the fire’ of cycling to their young pupils in a fantastic building camp developed in Tucson (Arizona, USA) last week. Gary Smith, CEO of Polartec, was the host of this first contact that was attended by all the staff of the Contador Foundation and a large representation of its riders, who next year will have a total of 38 cyclists among the Continental, Sub 23 and Junior teams, in addition to the 40 children enrolled in the Plaza Éboli School in Pinto.
‘Passing the fire’ has been the motto under which the week of training in Arizona has passed, a splendid prize that Gary Smith has wanted to offer to the Contador Foundation and that he had been planning for several years. Finally, the Contador Foundation was able to visit the United States, the country of origin of its main sponsor, Polartec, and pay its particular tribute, pedaling in the stunning scenery of the Arizona desert.
As a culmination to this stage, the Polartec-Kometa was able to test for the first time the competition kit that Polartec has designed for the 2018 season, garments of great technical performance and made entirely with Polartec fabrics. But also, to commemorate the visit to Arizona, a special and exclusive design of the entire collection of next season was used with the colors of the flag of this American state, worn by both riders and guests at this event.
“This is our first visit to the United States in these three years of collaboration with Polartec and it has been a great experience”, says Fran Contador, manager of the Foundation. “Here we have shown the result of our joint work and we have used the next year equipment for the first time, but with the colors of Arizona, which were the colors of this building camp. We are all very happy with both this work and the great atmosphere we have had during these days of conviviality. This visit is a great motivation to work hard in 2018. The Contador Foundation continues to grow with the incorporation of our first professional team and we are lucky to have people with us very motivated and committed, who will help us to make the difference with this project”.
Alberto Contador, for his part, highlighted the example he wants to give to his young riders. “For us, the most important thing is that our cyclists understand that if they want to get to the top they must give themselves 100% to the bike, as Ivan Basso and I have done, so when they finish their sporting career they know they gave everything and feel proud of what they have achieved”.
We are fortunate to have sponsors who feel this project as their own and with whom we form a group willing to work and remain together for a long time. Our dream is to make history and that within ten years, when we look back, we have something nice to tell everyone
Ivan Basso stressed that in Arizona they had spent “a few days doing a more important job than a mere training, because we will see the result throughout the year. Here we had time to know each other and to know not only the physical, but also the human capabilities of our riders”, explained the double winner of the Giro d’Italia, very happy also with the hospitality of Polartec. “We are fortunate to have sponsors who feel this project as their own and with whom we form a group willing to work and remain together for a long time. Our dream is to make history and that within ten years, when we look back, we have something nice to tell everyone”.
A good example of Polartec-Kometa’s riders invited to Arizona is Juan Camacho, formed during his four years as under 23 in the Contador Foundation and that in 2018 will be part of the Continental team. “Be professional is a change I needed, because after 4 seasons in the Under-23 team I needed a new motivation”.
Juan feels “happy and proud to pass professional within the same project of the Contador Foundation. I’m lucky and I want to take the opportunity. Being in the same team I think it will be easier to adapt to the category, among other things because we have with us people with a great experience like Jesús Hernández, Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador. I want to make good use of this time”, says this rider, one of the most experienced. “We are a very young team, but all the teammates have given me a very good impression as persons and as athletes. We have a very good level and I think we’re going to give a lot to talk about next year”.