The Sercotel Princesa de Éboli in Pinto, Madrid, has hosted for three days the first pre-season training camp of the eleventh project in the U19 category of the Fundación Contador. The structure, which will compete again under the name EOLO-KOMETA during 2023, held various meetings and technical talks at the facilities of the Plaza Éboli Cycling Academy and rode through Las Vegas County in the southeast of Madrid.

“It’s been a great three days, this experience has been great and you know it’s one of those experiences that will stay with you forever”, summarised Gerard Cano, one of the ten new faces in the team for the upcoming season. The culmination of the talks that took place on Saturday came with the testimony of Alberto Contador, who shared some of his experiences with the boys. “Enjoy this experience a lot, work hard and don’t leave or neglect your studies, they are very important”, said the Spaniard.

“We have to make a very positive balance of these days, we have a very well-knit squad. The importance of this time of the year is that we have managed to form a group, which is something that is sometimes difficult to achieve. The lads have bonded, there has been a great harmony between them and the atmosphere has been exceptional. On a more sporting level, this is not the time to look for or draw conclusions, but we are starting to see some interesting things. It’s time to keep working and I’m convinced that with good preparation and mental preparation we’re going to have a great year”, says director Gorka Beloki.

“The main objective of this training camp was to lay the foundations for next season with a more general work where we wanted to include strength work in the gym with the additional objective of correcting the kids’ technique in a more individualised way. This work is carried out regularly at home and it is important that they are clear about how to perform the exercises to avoid injuries”, specifies Antonio Campos, the Foundation’s technical trainer. “We have proposed two quiet aerobic sessions, one shorter and one longer, with the idea that they interact on the bike, get to know each other by riding in a group, work a little on relays, going in a group… But we always talk about a very gentle workout on the bike for this time”.

Nutrition was one of the big new features of this year’s second meeting, a complete and interesting talk given by nutritionist Nacho Carrasco, which aroused a lot of interest and raised many questions among the riders. Carrasco tackled different theoretical and practical issues so that the youngsters begin to become aware of the importance of this area, without becoming obsessed, and acquire a well-founded basis that will allow them to debunk certain common and widespread myths about nutrition and sport.

Fran Contador, general manager of the Fundación Contador teams, did not want to miss these initiation moments of what will be the eleventh season of existence of the U19 squad: “The  December stages are fundamental for the squads, regardless of the category. In the case of the U19 team, it makes more sense that the meeting allows the boys to spend more time together and get to know each other, we are talking about a very new squad, and they can also get to know the dynamics of our way of working because they are coming from other projects. And for the youth category we think that there is no better place than our home, in Pinto, in perfect facilities such as the Hotel Princesa Éboli and those of our Plaza Éboli Cycling Academy, and with roads that we know perfectly, safe, very cyclist and that are ideal to start working with the kids”.

Gerard Cano, Daniel Díaz, Iker Díaz, Miguel Domínguez, Balint Feldhoffer, Samuel Flórez, Héctor García, Mario Gómez, Pablo Leno, Iván Loaisa, Alvar Martín, Balasz Pollner, Iván Polo, Hugo Pradas and Manuel Sanroma form the squad 2023 of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team. The technical staff continues these days with the planning of a competitive calendar that will be preceded by a new preseason training camp that will be developed during the first month and a half of the new year.

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