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Contador to launch team sponsored by Specialized in 2013

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Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) wins Milano-Torino

Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) wins Milano-Torino
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Contador's Specialized Tarmac SL4 is the only bike in the Vuelta equipped with SRAM Red WiFli rear derailleur

Contador's Specialized Tarmac SL4 is the only bike in the Vuelta equipped with SRAM Red WiFli rear derailleur
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 team bikes.

Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 team bikes.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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Specialized says Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) hasn't had enough testing time on the new Tarmac SL4 to be comfortable on it for the Tour de France so instead he's using his pair of custom painted S-Works Tarmac SL3 machines instead.

Specialized says Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) hasn't had enough testing time on the new Tarmac SL4 to be comfortable on it for the Tour de France so instead he's using his pair of custom painted S-Works Tarmac SL3 machines instead.
(Image credit: Jonny Irick)
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SRAM's Ben Raby said he's seen Contador do a lot of climbing in the 53/28

SRAM's Ben Raby said he's seen Contador do a lot of climbing in the 53/28
(Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Alberto Contador is back indeed - he won his first Grand Tour after returning from his ban

Alberto Contador is back indeed - he won his first Grand Tour after returning from his ban
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) was without teammates in the final half of the race

Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) was without teammates in the final half of the race
(Image credit: Sirotti)

The Alberto Contador Specialized Foundation launching in 2013 will give young cyclists the opportunity to race under the direction of retired professional and former Spanish national coach José Luis de Santos. De Santos rode for Banesto between 1991-1995 and led the national team at the 2009 UCI Road World Championships in Mendrisio where Joaquim Rodríguez and Samuel Sanchez finished third and fourth respectively.

The team created by Contador will begin next season as a junior squad for 17-18-year-olds and will have a roster of approximately 15 riders according to a release on his personal website. Specialized will supply the bikes and other equipment while many of Contador's ProTeam sponsors from Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank will also support the team.

"It's a very exciting project. Being close to Alberto and Fran Contador is a great opportunity and did not hesitate when they offered me the chance", said de Santos. "Going back to work with the cycling base is very nice and I think we can bring many things to the formation of the riders. In addition, the project will continue to grow and this foundation can be very important for the future of Spanish cycling."

"We are thrilled with this project", said Contador. "Because we are working for the future of our sport, which is something we love. We want to support the young cyclist in a particularly difficult times in which many teams and many races are disappearing."

The first season of the project headlined by Contador will be purely for the junior development side of the sport however, the Foundation is being designed as a long-term project. Contador's team manager Fran Contador added that additional teams are set to form in the coming years.

"The first season will begin with the junior team, but there will also be a under 23 team and probably another for women, thus completing the cycle prior to jumping to the professional ranks. Then they can make the move to the top step but for now the idea is to become the reference for young teams."