The Spaniard, who has hinted that 2016 will be his last season as a rider, is hoping to establish a new WorldTour team in the near future, which would rise from the existing Fundación Contador set-up that currently comprises junior and Under-23 squads.
Contador outlined his plans in Milan on Friday at the unveiling of a collaboration between clothing companies rh+ and Polartec and their sponsorship of the Fundación Contador
“When we set up the Fundación the aim was to develop young riders, to give them opportunities in cycling, to show them how good cycling is for the health. We’re still continuing to grow, and we have built a great team,” said the seven-time Grand Tour champion.
“At the same time, we are thinking about new projects, and one of them is, without a doubt, to have a WorldTour team competing at the highest level.”
Contador was unable to offer any finer details, such as when this team might emerge, but the aim is to bring through the young riders already part of the Fundación. The set-up, which selects riders based on interview and their values as well as sporting potential, is predominantly Spanish but is looking to broaden its horizons and adopt a more international outlook.
“It’s not something that has a defined timeframe. We want to build a very professional set-up that can compete at the highest level, that can do everything, all the details, really well,” said Contador.
“Obviously it would be crucial to have economic support – we’d need a big sponsor. In the meantime, we can carry on developing riders, and they can carry on growing step by step. It’s likely that many of them will be in this future team.”
Contador has strongly hinted that 2016 will be his last season in the professional peloton and, though he still refuses to put an exact date on retirement, next year’s Tour de France seems to be the 32-year-old’s final major objective – one which he is already “preparing 100 per cent” for.
Sportsmen and women are all faced with a relatively early post-career dilemma but at this stage Contador is in little doubt about what shape his life will take. Working with the Fundación will form the heart of what he will do and he’s already thinking ahead to a time when he can trade in the life of a professional cyclist, the demands of which he has shouldered for 13 years now.
“I’m a person who, when he sets about doing something, commits to it 100 percent. Every day, whether it’s racing, training or resting, is spent thinking about cycling, all the details,” explained Contador.
“The years are going by and in the near future I will change my objectives, and for me one of the big motivations is the Fundación. It will take up a lot of my time. Not as a director, or a trainer, or anything. But with my support and collaboration we can take project to the highest level.
“The support of rh+ and Polartec is an important step with regards to the future, with regards to pursuing new and ambitious projects. It means we will be able to grow together and it allows the Fundación Contador to carry on growing without limits, to be ambitious, and to think about new things. This really motivates me for the future – we are ambitious and want to take this project to the highest level.”
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