Alberto Contador's post-career legacy is beginning to take shape, and his longstanding foundation will take on the management of a Trek-Segafredo development squad. The team will race at Continental level and has secured three-year sponsorship from clothing company Polartec and food company Kometa.
Contador's former teammate and directeur sportif at Trek-Segafredo, Ivan Basso, will be the manager of the team, while Contador's brother Fran will look after the administrative management. Contador, who will finally hang up his racing wheels after the forthcoming Vuelta a Espana, set up his foundation five years ago with the express intent of developing young talent and this, says the 34-year-old, is a further step towards that.
"What has united Ivan and me in this project is the dream of giving back to cycling a little of everything that it has given us," said Contador. "We are convinced that by joining forces we can do much more to help young people to reach a professional level.
"Thanks to Polartec and Kometa, along with the fundamental support of Trek-Segafredo, where I feel like at home, the Alberto Contador Foundation, directed by my brother Fran, takes a very important step and adds a continental team to the existing school and the junior and U23 teams, which will continue to form the young riders in the values embodied in cycling: teamwork, solidarity, perseverance and sacrifice."
The team will, the press release says, "aim to offer an opportunity for professional training for young people from both the Contador Foundation and other European and world schools." It will be based in Pinto, the headquarters of the foundation and the hometown of Contador and they will, of course, ride on Trek bikes and will receive support from the Trek Factory Racing set-up. As well as being based in Pinto, the team's second home will be in Bormio, where they will complete many of their team training camps.
"This team is the realisation of a professional dream that Alberto and me have matured for a long time, after sharing many experiences as cyclists and friends," said Basso, who has already been working in a developmental role at Trek-Segafredo. "We wanted to create something together, and I am happy and proud to have achieved this thanks to the support of Trek-Segafredo, who for a year has given me the responsibility to follow the young talent linked to its team."
The creation of the Continental team affiliated to Trek-Segafredo marks a reversal of a recent trend that has seen WorldTour teams wind down or disband their development teams. Last month, BMC announced that its development team would not return in 2018.