Biagio Conte joins EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team as sporting director in 2022
Not only the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team squad is reinforced in view of the second season of the structure in the ProTeam category. The sports management of the professional team of the Contador Foundation also grows with the arrival of Biagio Conte for the next season.
The Sicilian, a professional cyclist between 1996 and 2003 and with extensive experience as a manager in both WorldTour and training structures, will be at the wheel of the brand new blue SKODA together with Stefano Zanatta, Jesús Hernández and Sean Yates. “I had the opportunity to work closely with Stefano Zanatta and Ivan Basso at Liquigas between 2010 and 2014 and I can’t wait to do it again,” he says.
“From my point of view the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team started the year as the team of Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso, but now it is simply the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team. And that is due to the great leap in quality that the team has made during its first season. It has done a formidable job, seen from the outside, and the results are there. The whole team has had a great performance during the year, but obviously the performance in the Giro d’Italia and Lorenzo’s victory in the Zoncolan have been very relevant in this growth”, reflects Conte.
As a cyclist, the man from Palermo (1968) was a very fast man who enjoyed his opportunities to show off and had no qualms about contributing, adding to and working on other riders’ successes by joining Mario Cipollini’s ‘il treno’. Conte was the first leader of the 1996 Vuelta a España, in which he won two stages, and in his career he also achieved a partial victory in the Giro d’Italia (2000) or in Tirreno-Adriatico (2001), without forgetting that he was on the podium in a monument such as Milano-Sanremo (1997), a race of great agonistic distance in which he was also fourth in 2001.
“The goal for 2022 can only be to confirm all that EOLO-KOMETA has done well.. The natural thing is to keep growing. You can’t think about winning the general classification of a grand tour, even if obviously your heart tells you that’s what you’d most like to do. It’s a time to keep your feet on the ground, work calmly and continue to build from the search for more achievable but no less important objectives. But never losing ambition. If in 2001 the EOLO-KOMETA won a stage in the Giro d’Italia, for example, why not fight for two victories in 2022,” he smiles.
Next season will be the first in which Conte will manage together Zanatta, Jesús and Sean all the riders of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team in the professional ranks. “So far I haven’t managed any of them, but I know all the Italian riders well. Some of them, like Bevilacqua or Fortunato himself, were riders who rode for WorkService, my last team, in the junior category. Albanese, Lonardi, Maestri… They are also riders I know well,” he says.
The year 2021 is in its last months and in a few weeks the team will be back to work with its first winter training camp. “Now the guys have to rest and disconnect, because the work starts again right away and the goal has to be that everyone starts in the best conditions. The unity of the whole squad this year has been great and that has been one of the team’s differential facts, one of its strengths. The victories are individual, but behind them there is a great collective work where everyone has contributed. Gavazzi, for example, has contributed a lot with his experience. The objective is to start the year well and then it will be the road and the rivals that will tell, because winning has never been easy and the competition is always high”.