The first sports project managed by the Contador Foundation in the ProTeam category continues to confirm some of its components. With nine riders confirmed so far (seven renewals, the Spanish U23 rider Arturo Grávalos and the Italian veteran Manuel Belletti), another three riders are joining the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team.
The riders Vincenzo Albanese and Luca Pacioni come from the Bardiani-CSF and Androni Giocattoli respectively and in both cases sign for a season. His compatriot Samuele Rivi comes from the Tirol-KTM Cycling Team and is committed for two seasons.
Professional since 2017, Albanese has always developed his professional career in the structure of the Bardiani-CSF. Four seasons after which he faces an exciting jump that, he confesses, motivates him: “It’s a challenge that motivates me a lot. A very good team is being put together, although there are many new faces. Although it is a new team, it is already a very organized team and it is attracting very competent and expert cyclists”.
Olivetto Citra’s (1996) is a very versatile rider. “I am a ‘squadra man’. I am a ‘pasista veloce’. But above all I am a team man. Being in an Italian team, my schedule has obviously been very Italian. It is true that we will continue to compete a lot in Italy, but it is also an opportunity to discover other races. I have participated in the Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana, I know the Challenge of Mallorca, in 2018 I raced in Andalusia… I like the possibility of being able to compete more in Spain”.
It was precisely in Valencia and on the island of Mallorca that he had his first experience of competing against the continental structure of the Contador Foundation. “The team leaves a good feeling. In the two races he competed very well. He leaves samples. This year I am sure that a very important step will be taken. And between the new faces we all know each other and have a good relationship. In the end there are not so many Italian riders, and in some races we do not coincide several. I think it is a nice project”.
“I think it is a beautiful project. A very good team is being put together, with level and experience. We come from a very strange season in which we have not been able to do many races. But fortunately we have been able to do well on several occasions and the possibility of strengthening this project has arisen. It is a wonderful occasion”, values Luca Pacioni (1973).
A professional since 2016, the rider from Gatteo, has just won a stage and is the leader in the Vuelta al Tachira. His record includes stage victories in the Tour of China, the Tour of Langkawi and the Tour of Taiwan. “I am a fast rider. But I am not the classic sprinter who can suffer on a climb. I am known for being able to save a difficult day,” he adds.
“I’ve had the opportunity to compete in some races where the team was, and even to ride on a breakaway with them. I have always found it to be a very well organised team. And with a rich calendar of events with World Tour formations. Seen from the outside, it certainly wasn’t a typical continental team”.
“I am facing a great opportunity for my sporting career,” says this 22 year old Trentino cyclist (1998) who has always been aware of the sporting developments of the continental team: “I had the opportunity to share training camps of the Italian team with two riders like Antonio Puppio and Alessandro Fancellu who always spoke very well of the work being done here. I have also had the opportunity to get to know the quality of Alejandro Ropero in the past Giro U23. In the first stage I ran away and he and other strong men passed me very quickly”.
Rivi, two years with Tirol-KTM Cycling Team, does not dare to define himself as a rider: “I am good on the flat, I defend myself on winding ground and I am not afraid of the mountains either, where I can go well when I am in a good shape”.
“In the races in which we have coincided with the Kometa the impression was that of being a very professional structure, with many means and a good organization. It was obvious and you immediately thought that within the category it was a unique team. I think that I come to a great team and I am very eager to start competing”, he concludes.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)