We will never forget, this 2021. That it will go down in history, in our history, as the year we became great. It will go down in history, in our history, as the year of the first times: the first time in the Pro category, the first time in a World Tour race, the first time at the Giro d’Italia, the first victories in front of the greats of world cycling.
A year made of novelties, the first of which has a name that recalls an ancient divinity: Eolo. The Italian company, leader in the field of ultra-wideband for the residential and business market, with its founder Luca Spada has decided to marry our project and to join our historical sponsor Kometa. An important arrival, decisive for a jump in category long dreamed and finally become reality. The EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team is finally a wonderful reality. The team reinforces itself to get ready for the new reality, between the confirmations of those who have performed well and the new arrivals. And it’s great to find everyone, for the first time, at the Oliva retreat in December 2020: to look around, to count each other and to realize that it’s all true, that it’s not a dream.
The season begins, crippled by the pandemic that does not want to give respite and cancels most of the Spanish races in February. The Italian calendar was immediately in full swing, with the EOLO-KOMETA taking part in those races that until a few months before were only seen on television: the World Tour baptism with the Strade Bianche, the Trofeo Laigueglia, the magic of the Tirreno-Adriatico where Vincenzo Albanese wore the green jersey of leader of the climbers’ classification for two days.
But the best news, the one that makes your legs shake with emotion, comes with the Wild Card granted to the team for the participation in the Giro d’Italia: the most dreamed race, the one that Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso have won and won again, the one that every rider imagines as a child. The EOLO-KOMETA presents itself at the start of the pink race from Turin with the emotion of the debutant, but with the desire to run to leave a mark. And every day, and every stage, the team runs and tries: two days in the blue jersey for Albanese (leader of the climbers), our riders always on the attack and always in flight, the crazy desire to win a stage. Gavazzi came close to winning twice, and Lorenzo Fortunato won in what will remain the most beautiful day of our history: triumph in the Zoncolan stage, the queen stage of the Giro, the top where Ivan Basso had triumphed 11 years before. Something we hadn’t even dared to dream of became reality.
The team, now, is a reality of the world cycling: the fans recognize us, along the roads the people look for our jerseys and come to greet us in front of the bus. A wonderful Giro d’Italia, and a season that continues as it had begun: on the attack. Lorenzo Fortunato demonstrates that the victory on the Zoncolan had not arrived by chance triumphing in the stage with arrival on Monte Grappa at the Adriatica Ionica Race and conquering also the general classification. Erik Fetter’s victory at the Tour du Limousin also arrived, and many near victories (how many placings for Albanese, and how much he would have deserved a success…).
Yes, a year we’ll never forget. And it ends with the arrival of a new important sponsor: Burger King, who confirms the attractiveness of the team and decides to join the project, flanking Eolo and Kometa, and flanking all the other partners enthusiastic about relaunching and continuing together for other goals.
And the story continues….
The third adventure in the continental category for the Contador Foundation brought with it two great novelties in the support section, with the arrival of Xstra and above all the incorporation of AURUM Bikes, but also with unbeatable prospects for the future. A project with Spanish, Italian, Danish, Portuguese and Hungarian riders. The staff incorporates three promising cyclists from the U23 team (Fancellu, García, Ropero). Unfortunately, as a result of an injury, Juan Camacho takes the decision to retire in mid-January. For the first time for the team, the season starts in the Challenge de Mallorca. And from the opening flag of the first stage, a rider of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team looking for the lead. Attacking Riccardo Verza. Great level of the block in the great Balearic island, managing adverse race situations for their interests. Sergio Garcia will stand out in the Vuelta a Murcia, taking part in a decisive breakaway on the first day and consolidating his position in the top10 of the overall. Daniel Viegas will be on the podium in the Clásica de Almería for his involvement in the breakaway. In Antalya, Alessandro Fancellu will fight for victory in the high final at Termessos and finish third in the overall final. The global health emergency caused by the COVID-19 is putting the brakes on the campaign with the team ready to compete in Croatia. During the confinement, the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team is promoting a virtual cycling initiative through the Zwift platform, while all the riders are doing a lot of preparation work during this period without racing. The Tour of Burgos means the return of the team to high competition and the performance of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team is one of the highlights of the race with a constant search for breakaways. The zenith, in a fourth stage in which Verza, Ropero and Sevilla manage to ride in the same breakaway. The Circuit de Getxo and Tour l’Ain, the latter with several Tour de France contenders in the race, are other events in which the structure displays its unbridled enthusiasm. The feelings for the Tour of Hungary and the Giro U23 are hight and these days it is confirmed that in 2021 the team will request a jump in category from EOLO. Erik Fetter, very outstanding in France, has to stop the season before time after being run over by a vehicle. In Hungary the team is again one of the most active, with presence in all circumstances of the race. In the Giro, in the first stage, Alejandro Ropero achieves the only victory of the course and wears the maglia rosa for three days. But the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team will be crowned as the strongest formation of the race, the prize for the character and determination displayed during a year as difficult as different.
The Italian firm Kometa took a step forward towards the second adventure of the Alberto Contador Foundation in the continental category, increasing its support and contribution in a project that incorporated Uvet Group, Openjobmetis Agenzia per il lavoro, Elmec or Gobik among other firms. Trek, Valtellina, Skoda and Rotor maintained their confidence in the project. The standard of the first year was very high, not because of the victories, but because of the good performances. But this 2019 ended with a very brilliant season in which the image of the team where it competed was always seen, with much prominence in the escapes and secondary classifications. The Kometa Cycling Team stood out especially in the reborn Giro de Sicilia and in the Vuelta a Hungría, one of the objectives of the campaign located in new dates in the middle of June for which the signing of Márton Dina took place due to the great interests of the sponsor in the country. The victories were resisted, although they were caressed on several occasions by Juan Pedro López, Antonio Puppio and or one during the whole outstanding season Stefano Oldani. The falls of Michele Gazzoli, fracture in Antalya, or Michel Ries, in the Vuelta a Asturias, disrupted the management plans of the campaign. In the end the two successes would arrive, both in the Giro del Valle d’Aosta, signed by Michel Ries and Juan Pedro López. But the greatest satisfaction, an additional success for a structure with a strong desire for training, would come weeks later with the confirmation that both the Luxembourger and the Spanish would make the leap to the WorldTour. The Italian Oldani would be the third man to promote the elite, hand in hand with Lotto-Soudal. Also he would change of airs at the end of the year the manchego Isaac Cantón, who promoted to the Continental Professional category of the hand of the Burgos-BH.
The year 2018 is very special within the Alberto Contador Foundation with the launch of the continental team Polartec-Kometa. A bet that continued to give actuality to a work started in 2013, with the creation of the junior team, and in 2014, with the sub23. A professional team in the third step of the cyclist sports organization chart born with a marked formative spirit and with the important role of being the development team of the Trek-Segafredo that nevertheless went far beyond the role of the mere academy of riders with great potential and a lot of future. For the debut, a very international team, with seven nationalities present: Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Eritrea and Colombia. With a calendar that alternated tests of different levels, the squad supported by Polartec, Kometa, Valtellina, Trek, Skoda and Rotor, among other firms, ended up setting up a remarkable season in which there were moments for the celebration. The ten victories with which the season ended made him the second most successful team in the Spanish panorama, only behind a ‘WorldTour’ like the Movistar Team. The Italian Matteo Moschetti, with nine successes, was the main contributor in this section. The brilliant transalpine sprinter, with two victories in the Tour of Normandy, another in the Tour of Hungary and a great success in the Tour of Burgos, was the great protagonist of a field where the Dutchman Kevin Inkelaar contributed a partial success in the Giro del Valle de Aosta in which he fought for the final victory until the last day. In its first year, the Polartec-Kometa has sought to be a protagonist in all the races in which it has taken part, without complexes in front of other structures with more rank and experience.