Alberto Contador: a life into cycling
Alberto Contador, former pro-rider and Vittoria brand ambassador, talks about the old days as a pro and about his current role as team manager in Polartec-Kometa.
Alberto, do you miss your life as a pro-rider? What are the aspects of that life you miss the most? What do you miss the less?
The truth is that sometimes I miss the competition, but the professional cyclist's life not so much, hehehehe. Now I can spend more time with family and friends, when I was professional it was difficult not to be able to spend a lot of time with my beloved.
Before the start of the Tour de France I always felt strange, it was like I was losing something important, but thanks to the countless commitments made, I managed to manage everything at its best. What I do not miss is the tension and the danger in the race, it was the worst part during the Tour de France.
How did you come up with the idea of starting a road team for young riders after your career as a pro-rider? What brought you to take this choice?
Everything started in 2013 with the Junior team, after six years we have improved a lot and we already have a proper school, the sub23 team and the Continental team. It is something that satisfies us a lot, to see young people with enthusiasm who strive to be cyclists. It was something that came to mind out of the idea of giving back to cycling what cycling has given us. We want to give young people an opportunity.
What are the main challenges you face as a team manager?
Our biggest challenge is that young people study and train during the time spent with us, not only as cyclists, but also as people. We want the guys in our teams to take advantage of the time they spend with us studying while trying to be professional cyclists; If you cannot finally realize your dream of being a cyclist, it is crucial to be prepared.
Are young riders different from the times you were their age?
I think young people now have more information than before, including material, training systems, etc. They have improved a lot. But in the end the illusion they have is the same.
When preparing a race, what do you consider when choosing the right tyre? What Vittoria tyre does the team use mainly?
In today's cycling, having a good range of tires and choosing the right one at any time can be decisive for the race. It is not the same thing to ride on dry or wet terrain, on roads in good conditions or on damaged asphalt ... tires pressure, heat and cold are also very important... I have always been aware of the importance of this aspect, it is essential for cyclists’ safety and better performances.
In our team we mainly use Corsa 25mm, this tire in my opinion is the one with the best grip on the market, it inspires confidence and really makes the difference in descents. For the TT we use Corsa Speed 23 mm: we want to have the lowest friction and be the fastest.
We are connected to Vittoria not only because of the products they give us, but also and mostly because of the values and philosophy we share to invest in young people. We hope to spend many more years together!
Vittoria is the Official Sponsor of the Polartec-Kometa Team.