The U23 team of the Contador Foundation will incorporate three riders from the junior structure for the next season 2021. The Catalan Arnau Gilabert, the Madrid Alejandro Luna and the Andalusian José Luis Medina will face their first year in the new category under the direction of the director Rafa Díaz Justo.
Both Luna and Medina have competed the last two seasons in the Contador Foundation’s youth team, while Gilabert has joined the team for 2019. All three arrived after participating in different editions of the Selection Campus held in Zaragoza. The Cantabrian Guillermo Gutiérrez has been their sports director during this trip: “Whenever a rider makes the jump in category we feel a great joy, but this is immense when the kids have the opportunity to continue to face it within the Foundation”.
Arnau Gilabert explains: “When Félix García Casas called me to give me the news he gave me a huge surprise, I didn’t expect it at all. And even less so after such a strange season, with the short time I had been in the team compared to other colleagues. It has been an immense joy. It has also been a touch not to relax completely, to keep that little worm in the stomach, a little tension for training. I am very motivated by the jump in category, all that it means, all that I hope to learn, and especially also the opportunity to be a partner of a rider like Álex Martín. Álex, his career in youth has always been a reference for me”.
“I am looking forward to this step. And even more so because I can do it here, where I’ve been growing for so many years”, says Luna. “I face this new stage with a lot of desire, with a lot of illusion and with a lot of motivation. I hope to continue advancing, little by little, and to adapt well to the new category, with all that this entails. This year I have felt very well and it is something that motivates me a lot for the next course”.
Jose Luis Medina, on the other hand, indicates on the matter of his arrival at the equipment u23: “It has been a quite atypical 2020, but I leave quite satisfied of how the things have gone. I am really happy with this opportunity, very happy to be able to continue forming in this team and growing in this structure. Ahead, a year of very hard work where there is a lot to learn. It is a year of changes: a new category, more kilometres in the races, a different squad… We are here to learn, to fulfil the director’s orders and to help all the colleagues”.
Guillermo Gutiérrez introduces the new members of the U23 team: “Arnau is a great climber, with an offensive way of racing, who this year managed to win the Vuelta al Besaya, a year in which nobody was betting because it was possible, thanks to a great strategy of the team. Alejandro is a profile of a cyclist that you always want in your team, a great companion always ready to help, a rider that when you ask him to be there, he is there. His progression since he joined the team has been enormous. This year he has had bad luck with falls, but he has forged great performances and has worked a lot for his teammates. José Luis, for his part, is a very combative and fighting off-roader. This year has been so atypical that he has been able to stand out even more, he has always been in the first places, and he has achieved with a bronze medal in the national time trial and great performances both in Besaya and in the Cabedo Trophy”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)