Another season for the history, a 2023 that started in the worst way with the news of Vincenzo Albanese’s injury, but that ended with a great run of good results for the team, a great attitude of all the riders and the farewell of Albanese and Fortunato, who started their way to the WorldTour; or of Francesco Gavazzi, who put an end to his professional career.
The season had a clear objective: the Giro d’Italia. But before that, everything made us dream of great results. First, the triumphant return of Vincenzo Albanese in April, taking third place in the overall classification of the Giro di Sicilia. Then came the victory in the queen stage and in the final general classification of the Vuelta a Asturias for Lorenzo Fortunato, shining on his home terrain, the mountains.
Then came the big event of the Giro d’Italia, where EOLO KOMETA was invited for the third consecutive time. It was a special Giro, marked by the debut of Diego Sevilla, a rider raised in the Contador Foundation. The days in the breakaway, the brave moves of Albanese, the impressive results with Maestri and the multiple top-10s, together with the memorable victory of Davide Bais in Campo Imperatore, being the strongest of the breakaway, made this Giro a masterpiece. Valued by fans and media alike, the team’s attitude was truly incredible and the results accompanied EOLO KOMETA’s excellent performance.
The second half of the season sought to continue the good results of the fantastic months of April and May. The Italian classics arrived, with Albanese almost winning the Coppa Bernocchi just behind Van Aert himself and winning the Trittico Lombardo, and Samuele Rivi, victorious in the Tour Poitou-Charentes on a stormy day. In addition, Maestri was on the final podium of an almost talismanic race for the team.
Lonardi’s own name, present in the best positions of almost every sprint in the final part of the season, also boosted the ranking of an EOLO KOMETA that finishes among the 26 best teams in the world, with the ambition of continuing to grow in 2024.
2023 also marked farewells, such as the retirement of Francesco Gavazzi after 18 years as a professional. A cyclist who has marked the professional growth of the structure, has taught the youngest riders and will continue to be linked to the project.
We are talking about a season that saw the growth of young riders such as Piganzoli and Pietrobon, and allowed us to confirm the strength and courage of Mattia Bais, who in his first year showed a fighting and courageous spirit. All of them will continue to grow in the project, which has not lost its philosophy and objectives.
And now, the eyes are looking to the future. The arrival of Polti as a sponsor and the continuation of Kometa and EOLO guarantee a successful 2024.
DE CASSAN Davide
SEVILLA Diego Pablo
The warm wind of the sea, in a January made of hopes, in the now-familiar setting of Oliva: our 2022 opened like this, all together, looking toward a season full of expectations and hopes. A season that began as well as it could, with Giovanni Lonardi’s victory at the first race of the year: his sprint across the finish line in Valencia, his cry of joy that mingled with that of the whole team, the hugs of a group that was immediately united and strong.
To grow again. This is the goal of the team in its second year in the Professional category, after a magical 2021 that had brought victory in the Zoncolan stage at the Giro d’Italia with Lorenzo Fortunato. To grow again thanks to the confirmations of the strongest and most in-demand riders – Fortunato and Albanese above all – and the arrival of a mix of experience and youth to strengthen the group. Grow as a team, grow as a group thanks to the strengthening of the staff to meet the demands of an intense season. And growing as a group of fellow travelers, those sponsors who have decided to support us and share this great adventure.
After Lonardi’s win in Valencia, the season continued with the Spanish calendar and the Tour of Antalya before exploding with Italian races: because the other big win is the confirmation of invitations from organizers to the most important events. Tirreno-Adriatico, Strade Bianche, Milan-Sanremo, Giro di Lombardia and especially Giro d’Italia. So, head down and pedal: a Tirreno-Adriatico with Davide Bais’s three days in the green jersey, a Milan-Sanremo with Samuele Rivi’s very long breakaway and Vincenzo Albanese’s masterpiece capable of finishing eleventh, first among Italians and together with the strongest riders in the world.
The approach to the Giro d’Italia is a serene and convinced path, marked by the days of racing and a healthy competition to be able to be in the group of eight riders that will be chosen to be at the Great Start in Budapest. The appointment with the most important race, the one that every rider dreams of experiencing, arrives and has the scent of celebration with the first three stages in Hungary made up of squares and streets full of fans: how much had we missed, in recent years, the warmth of the people? The warmth of the cycling fans, of the ever-growing EOLO KOMETA fans, of the fans of Erik Fetter who is hailed as a national hero in his home stages. It is the Giro d’Italia, and it is our desire to deserve the organizers’ wild card every day: there is the desire to always show off, there is the desire to win and to try to make the rankings with Lorenzo Fortunato. Victory, in the three weeks of the race, did not come: only touched with Mirko Maestri, only caressed by Lorenzo Fortunato, only seen up close with Vincenzo Albanese capable of placing among the leaders on several occasions. The days of the blue jersey, that of the best climber, arrived for Diego Rosa, and along came the days spent on the attack respecting such an important race every day until the arrival in the splendid dornice of the Arena of Verona.
But a season does not end in May. After the Giro d’Italia we continued racing the only way we know how: looking for victory. Victory came in the individual time trial at the Hungarian national championships with Fetter, victory came at the Tour of Limousin with a splendid Vincenzo Albanese finally with his arms raised after so many placings. There was also some bad luck, with the many crashes that prevented Fortunato from fighting with the leaders at the Adriatica Ionica Race, the Tour of Slovenia, then again at the Tour of Lombardy. Fortunato who still got to confirm his talent with placings at the Tour of Emilia and the polka-dot jersey won Tour of Slovakia.
The goal was to grow, and yes: the goal was met. So many steps forward for a team that has only been on the world cycling scene for a few years but has been able to hold firm to its values, born with the philosophy of Fundacion Alberto Contador and never abandoned. Growth. A goal we will never forget and always keep in our heads.
Because, yes: the story continues.
Diego Pablo Sevilla
We will never forget this 2021. It will go down in history, in our history, as the year we became great. It will go down in history, in our history, as the year of firsts: the first time in the Pro category, the first time in a World Tour race, the first time in the Giro d’Italia, the first victories against the greats of world cycling.
A year full of novelties, the first of which has a name that recalls an ancient divinity: Eolo. The Italian company, leader in the field of ultra-broadband for the residential and business market, with its founder Luca Spada, has decided to marry our project and join our historical sponsor Kometa. An important arrival, decisive for a long-dreamed-of leap in category, which has finally become a reality. The EOLO-KOMETA cycling team is finally a wonderful reality. The team is reinforced to prepare for the new reality, between the confirmations of those who have performed well and the new arrivals. And it’s great to be together for the first time at the Oliva training camp in December 2020: to look around us, to tell each other and to realise that it’s all true, that it’s not a dream.
The season begins, paralysed by the pandemic that gives no respite and cancels most of the Spanish races in February. The Italian calendar got underway immediately, with the participation of the EOLO-KOMETA team in those races that until a few months before had only been seen on television: a World Tour baptism with the Strade Bianche, the Trofeo Laigueglia and the magic of the Tirreno-Adriatico, where Vincenzo Albanese wore the green jersey for two days as leader of the climbers’ classification.
But the best news, the one that makes the legs tremble with emotion, comes with the Wild Card granted to the team to participate in the Giro d’Italia: the most dreamed race, the one that Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso have won and won again, the one that every rider imagines as a child. EOLO-KOMETA will be at the start of the pink race in Turin with the excitement of a rookie, but with the desire to race to make its mark. And every day, every stage, the team races and tries: two days in the blue jersey of Albanese (leader of the climbers), our riders always on the attack and always in the breakaway, the mad desire to win a stage. Gavazzi came close to winning twice, and Lorenzo Fortunato won what will remain the most beautiful day in our history: a victory on the Zoncolan stage, the queen stage of the Giro, the summit where Ivan Basso had triumphed 11 years earlier. Something we had not even dared to dream of became a reality.
The team is already a reality in world cycling: the fans recognise us, on the roads people look for our jerseys and come to greet us in front of the bus. A wonderful Giro d’Italia, and a season that continues as it began: on the attack. Lorenzo Fortunato proved that the victory on the Zoncolan had not come by chance when he won the stage with the finish on Monte Grappa in the Adriatica Ionica Race and also won the general classification. There was also Erik Fetter’s victory in the Tour du Limousin, and many near victories (how many places for Albanese, and how much he would have deserved a success…).
Yes, it was a year we will never forget. And it ended with the arrival of a new and important sponsor: Burger King, who, confirming the attractiveness of the team, decided to join the project, flanking Eolo and Kometa, and all the other partners enthusiastic about relaunching and continuing together to pursue other goals.
And the show goes on…
Diego Pablo Sevilla
The third adventure in the continental category for the Contador Foundation brought with it two great novelties in the support section, with the arrival of Xstra and above all the incorporation of AURUM Bikes, but also with unbeatable prospects for the future. A project with Spanish, Italian, Danish, Portuguese and Hungarian riders. The staff incorporates three promising cyclists from the U23 team (Fancellu, García, Ropero). Unfortunately, as a result of an injury, Juan Camacho takes the decision to retire in mid-January. For the first time for the team, the season starts in the Challenge de Mallorca. And from the opening flag of the first stage, a rider of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team looking for the lead. Attacking Riccardo Verza. Great level of the block in the great Balearic island, managing adverse race situations for their interests. Sergio Garcia will stand out in the Vuelta a Murcia, taking part in a decisive breakaway on the first day and consolidating his position in the top10 of the overall. Daniel Viegas will be on the podium in the Clásica de Almería for his involvement in the breakaway. In Antalya, Alessandro Fancellu will fight for victory in the high final at Termessos and finish third in the overall final. The global health emergency caused by the COVID-19 is putting the brakes on the campaign with the team ready to compete in Croatia. During the confinement, the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team is promoting a virtual cycling initiative through the Zwift platform, while all the riders are doing a lot of preparation work during this period without racing. The Tour of Burgos means the return of the team to high competition and the performance of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team is one of the highlights of the race with a constant search for breakaways. The zenith, in a fourth stage in which Verza, Ropero and Sevilla manage to ride in the same breakaway. The Circuit de Getxo and Tour l’Ain, the latter with several Tour de France contenders in the race, are other events in which the structure displays its unbridled enthusiasm. The feelings for the Tour of Hungary and the Giro U23 are hight and these days it is confirmed that in 2021 the team will request a jump in category from EOLO. Erik Fetter, very outstanding in France, has to stop the season before time after being run over by a vehicle. In Hungary the team is again one of the most active, with presence in all circumstances of the race. In the Giro, in the first stage, Alejandro Ropero achieves the only victory of the course and wears the maglia rosa for three days. But the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team will be crowned as the strongest formation of the race, the prize for the character and determination displayed during a year as difficult as different.
Diego Pablo Sevilla
José Antonio García
The Italian firm Kometa took a step forward towards the second adventure of the Alberto Contador Foundation in the continental category, increasing its support and contribution in a project that incorporated Uvet Group, Openjobmetis Agenzia per il lavoro, Elmec or Gobik among other firms. Trek, Valtellina, Skoda and Rotor maintained their confidence in the project. The standard of the first year was very high, not because of the victories, but because of the good performances. But this 2019 ended with a very brilliant season in which the image of the team where it competed was always seen, with much prominence in the escapes and secondary classifications. The Kometa Cycling Team stood out especially in the reborn Giro de Sicilia and in the Vuelta a Hungría, one of the objectives of the campaign located in new dates in the middle of June for which the signing of Márton Dina took place due to the great interests of the sponsor in the country. The victories were resisted, although they were caressed on several occasions by Juan Pedro López, Antonio Puppio and or one during the whole outstanding season Stefano Oldani. The falls of Michele Gazzoli, fracture in Antalya, or Michel Ries, in the Vuelta a Asturias, disrupted the management plans of the campaign. In the end the two successes would arrive, both in the Giro del Valle d’Aosta, signed by Michel Ries and Juan Pedro López. But the greatest satisfaction, an additional success for a structure with a strong desire for training, would come weeks later with the confirmation that both the Luxembourger and the Spanish would make the leap to the WorldTour. The Italian Oldani would be the third man to promote the elite, hand in hand with Lotto-Soudal. Also he would change of airs at the end of the year the manchego Isaac Cantón, who promoted to the Continental Professional category of the hand of the Burgos-BH.
Diego Pablo Sevilla
Jose Antonio García
Juan Pedro López
The year 2018 is very special within the Alberto Contador Foundation with the launch of the continental team Polartec-Kometa. A bet that continued to give actuality to a work started in 2013, with the creation of the junior team, and in 2014, with the sub23. A professional team in the third step of the cyclist sports organization chart born with a marked formative spirit and with the important role of being the development team of the Trek-Segafredo that nevertheless went far beyond the role of the mere academy of riders with great potential and a lot of future. For the debut, a very international team, with seven nationalities present: Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Eritrea and Colombia. With a calendar that alternated tests of different levels, the squad supported by Polartec, Kometa, Valtellina, Trek, Skoda and Rotor, among other firms, ended up setting up a remarkable season in which there were moments for the celebration. The ten victories with which the season ended made him the second most successful team in the Spanish panorama, only behind a ‘WorldTour’ like the Movistar Team. The Italian Matteo Moschetti, with nine successes, was the main contributor in this section. The brilliant transalpine sprinter, with two victories in the Tour of Normandy, another in the Tour of Hungary and a great success in the Tour of Burgos, was the great protagonist of a field where the Dutchman Kevin Inkelaar contributed a partial success in the Giro del Valle de Aosta in which he fought for the final victory until the last day. In its first year, the Polartec-Kometa has sought to be a protagonist in all the races in which it has taken part, without complexes in front of other structures with more rank and experience.
Diego Pablo Sevilla
Miguel Ángel Ballesteros