Saxo Bank have shown their support for Alberto Contador by using the Spaniard to promote their online banking services in an advert that appeared in Sunday’s edition of L’Equipe. The full-page ad featured Contador on the verge of taking a stage win with a huge smile on his face and framing the Saxo Bank name on his jersey. The slogan across the image reads: “Opportunities often present themselves in times of crisis.”
Further down the page, the Danish bank’s ad reads: “We support clients in their moments of success and also of difficulty, and this is equally valid for our riders.”
There was also support for Contador closer to home. More than 2,000 people joined a demonstration in his hometown of Pinto, south of Madrid. Many wore masks and took up the chant, “We’re all Alberto Contador!” Early in the afternoon, the man himself made an appearance after returning from his training ride. He thanked the demonstrators for their support.
There was also a much smaller demonstration in Valladolid. Around a 100 cyclists carried banners showing their support for Contador, including Vuelta a Castilla y León organiser José Luis López Cerrón, who bought the much-debated steak that Contador ate the night before his positive test.
Many others have also expressed their support for Contador in a variety of ways. Pinto’s football team has changed its team strip to pink and yellow colours to honour the Spaniard’s 2011 Giro and 2010 Tour victories, which have been stripped as a result of his ban. Pinto’s council has passed a resolution declaring the town’s support for its most famous son.
Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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