Alberto Contador launches School of Cycling in his hometown of Pinto
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Thursday, January 02, 2014

Alberto Contador launches School of Cycling in his hometown of Pinto

by Ben Atkins at 5:36 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Two-time Tour winner’s foundation to alloy local kids to “enjoy the bike”

alberto contadorAlberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) was at the Plaza Eboli Mall, in his home town of Pinto, Spain, today to officially launch his new School of Cycling. The two-time Tour de France champion, who is due to join his team at its first training camp on Gran Canaria on January 8th, was present alongside the CEO of the Mall, Fernando San Juan, Pinto Mayor Miriam Rabaneda and the school’s director, former pro rider Félix García Casas.

The facility is financed by the Alberto Contador Foundation, which currently sponsors a junior team, alongside Specialized, and will form an under-23 team in 2014.

Contador described the occasion as “a great and exciting day because we launch a cycling school, something than me, for example, hadn’t the opportunity to enjoy. Our goal is not to achieve future professionals, but kids can enjoy the bike and will see what happens in the future.”

The school will cater for both boys and girls, between the ages of eight and 14 years, and is designed to offer an new opportunity for them to take part in sports like cycling. With both the reigning WorldTour individual champion - Katusha’s Joaquim Rodríguez - and team champion - Movistar - from Spain, the country occupies a strong position at the top of the sport, but lacks the strength in developing areas.

Spanish cycling “is at the highest professional level, but at the base has huge gaps,” Contador expained. “This is a great effort of both work and time as well as economics. For example, we have not yet covered the fleet of vehicles we need for the Junior and Under 23 teams and that is a great effort for us, but nevertheless this project is very rewarding. This is what really motivates me to go out every day to train”.

The school already has its first 15 children, who visit its Pinto headquarters on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons to “practice cycling and learn the secrets of this sport, as well as take the first steps in competition.”

While the current setup just has teams at junior and under-23 level, Contador acknowledges that it may provide the beginnings of a professional team in future.

“Why not? This is an important step”, he said, but acknowledged that it all depends on “the support of sponsors. But from what I've seen this year in the junior team, they are going to be the ones that we will enjoy watching within a decade.”

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