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After a fabulous 2022, a complex and difficult 2023 season; its development due largely to fatalities and injuries, but also very satisfying in terms of experiences and moments and their formative reading and their contribution to the growth of the riders. The successes in the end are easy to enjoy, the adversity provides a tanning and a no less important base in the dream of reaching pro level. The tenth season of the U23 project, once again under the baton of Rafa Díaz Justo and with the support of Isaac Cantón and Gorka Beloki, was not the most productive in terms of victories, but it did bring with it many good positions (more than a dozen top three, fifty top ten) and, above all, it provided a great deal of learning for a squad of fifteen riders who once again faced a Spanish and Italian calendar, with the notable absence of the French Ronde de l’Isard, which could not be held in October due to the Rugby World Cup. The triumphs were fought for, resisted, with remarkable collective performances from May onwards, but eventually came. The 2023 season, in short, could be divided into two parts with May as the turning point. With up to five riders from the previous year’s squad moving up to the professional ranks, the formation was reinforced with six new faces, three of them (Álex García, from U19 EOLO-KOMETA; brothers Gabriele and Tommaso Bessega, from the Italian UC Bustese Olonia) promoted from the U19 category. The truth is that the development of the season was marked by the occurrence of several crashes, either during training or in competition, which affected riders such as Arnau Gilabert, Luca Bagnara, Haimar Etxeberria and, above all, Antonio González and Andrea Montoli )who had to say goodbye to the season much earlier). Injuries also affected other team-mates, such as Luca Bagnara, Pablo Uría and Ramón Fernández, and the fatal part was topped off by Etxeberria’s accident, fortunately without consequences. The Guipuzcoan, another of the team’s signings for this season, had started a very promising season with a good start in the Memorial Sanroma, but he would later be unable to maintain a certain level of consistency until the end of the spring. He would end up leaving his stamp on two of the team’s four victories this year: the Xanisteban Saria in Oiartzun, at the beginning of August, and the last stage of the Volta a la Provincia de Valencia, finishing in Ayora. The first success of the season came from Fran Muñoz in the Catalan time trial championship. The rider from Mataró could not achieve a performance similar to the previous year in the Spanish Cup, but as the season went by he gained consistency and strength, he climbed the podium in a tough Spanish Championships held in San Lorenzo de El Escorial where he was among the great protagonists and ended up enjoying a second experience as a stagiaire of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team ProTeam before being confirmed his jump to professionalism in 2024. Andrea Montoli, on his way to the Italian continental Biesse Carrera, would be the second rider to move up a category. Tommaso Bessega, in the fifth and last stage of the Vuelta a Zamora, achieved a very valuable victory after a streak of very good performances, but without prize, in Volta a Castellón, Memorial Sagasti or Clásica de La Rioja. Tommaso, in his first year in the category, would show his great sprinting skills with several positions of honour in both the Spanish and Italian calendars. In this country, Italy, the U23 structure would once again compete in the Giro d’Italia U23, in the Giro del Valle d’Aosta, as well as in the big international races of the U23 category, complex and indecipherable in their development: Montoli finished tenth in the Trofeo San Vendemiano.  The 2023 season had a big emotional blur for all the members of the structure as it was the death, in mid-May, of Arturo Grávalos from La Rioja. Rider of the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team, to which he came from the U23 structure, his loss was a great sorrow for all. His memory will always be with us because he is #ArturoGrávalosEterno and in those difficult days it was very comforting and emotional to receive all the warmth and affection of organizers, teams and the whole family of this wonderful sport.

Riders

Edoardo Alleva
Luca Bagnara
Gabriele Bessega
Tommaso Bessega
Haimar Etxeberria
Ramón Fernández
Álex García
Arnau Gilabert
Antonio González
Raúl López
Sebastiano Minoia
Andrea Montoli
Fran Muñoz
Pablo Uría
Gabriele Raccagni

The ninth adventure of the U23 structure is already an unforgettable campaign within the sports projects of the Fundación Contador. The team led by Rafa Díaz Justo completed a great year that ended with almost twenty victories between stages, overall, national titles and one-day races, accompanied by more than fifteen podiums, and the jump of five riders to professionalism: with the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team Andrea Pietrobon, Davide Piganzoli, Javi Serrano and Fernando Tercero, while Marcel Camprubí will do it with the Q36.5 Pro Cycling team. A very special season also because the project, maintaining his format of work with very young riders (with Antonio Gonzalez promoted from the U19 team) and a not excessively numerous squad, was growing and was filling with an important presence in the Italian calendar with which it was looking for to increase the competitive content of the riders with tests of great level in other sports realities. After a great winter work and a very productive first training camp, the successes began to come in the first race of the year, the Memorial Sanroma de Almagro, with a great performance by both Fernando Tercero and Davide Piganzoli. Although possibly because of its unprecedented nature in the history of the Foundation and because of its complexity, for being a reflection of great regularity and with a fundamental collective component behind it, the victory of Fran Muñoz in this year’s Spanish Cup Elite U23 (both in the absolute and U23 categories, accompanied in the latter with victory among the squads) is the most special triumph. On the way to the cup, successes came in the Gran Premio Primavera de Ontur and in the Aiztondo Klasika and great performances in the Memorial Valenciaga (Piganzoli), Circuito del Guadiana (Pietrobon) or the Memorial Ángel Lozano (Fran Muñoz). The generals of the Bidasoa Bira (with the signature of Davide Piganzoli and the presence on the third step of the podium of Fernando Tercero), the Vuelta a Toledo (with the triumph of Marcel Camprubí and the presence on the podium of Andrea Montoli) or the Vuelta a Cantabria (again Camprubí) have been other outstanding successes of this 2022 (outstanding performances also in Vuelta a Castellón, Vuelta a Navarra, Vuelta a Extremadura or Vuelta a Zamora, races in all of them with presence and fight) that have left great collective performances in the always complex team time trial. And in the grand tours of the U23 category, Piganzoli repeated his tenth place overall in the Giro U23 (not forgetting his Italian time trial title in the category) and finished fifth, competing with his Aurum Magma Italian national team, in the iconic and prestigious Tour of the Avenir.  An unforgettable year in 2022.

Riders

Andrea Pietrobon
Sebastiano Minoia
Ramón Fernández
Pablo Uria
Marcel Camprubí
Manuel Oioli
Gabriele Raccagni
Fran Muñoz
Edoardo Alleva
David Domínguez
Javier Serrano
Antonio González
Fernando Tercero
Davide Piganzoli
Arnau Gilabert
Andrea Montoli

The 2021 season was an important qualitative leap for the Alberto Contador Foundation’s U23 team; a new lease of life boosted by the decisive support of Kometa, the arrival of EOLO and other important sponsors, such as Retelit, FRITZ! and Elmec. The eighth project in the category started with a squad of fifteen riders, six of them new faces, which exceptionally also included riders from the elite category, a decision motivated by the difficulties generated by the impact of the coronavirus on the development of the previous season. From the U19 team came Arnau Gilabert, Alejandro Luna and José Luis Medina, an expert Álvaro García joined the team and two young riders with a bright future, Andrea Montoli and Davide Piganzoli, were promoted from Italy. The COVID-19 would leave its mark on the start of the season, causing several postponements, especially in the Spanish Cup, which delayed the normality of competition until well into the spring. The celebration of the races would end up taking place with a certain degree of normality, although without lowering our guard in terms of prevention measures. For this reason, after detecting a positive case in an internal control, the team withdrew at the last minute from taking part in the Vuelta a Madrid, a race that had its debut in the U23 category. The team had a great season, eight victories in the season, with very good results both in the Spanish Cup and in the stage races. In the Cup, David Martín won two races (Gran Premio Primavera, in Ontur; and the Memorial Ángel Lozano, in Valladolid) and Joan Martí Bennassar finished on the podium (third in the Circuito del Guadiana). In the stage races, Álex Martín (winner of the Volta a Galicia), Fernando Tercero (third in Galicia, where he won a stage; third in the Vuelta a Salamanca or second in the prestigious Ronde de l’Isard), Vicente Hernaiz (third in the Vuelta a Cantabria) or Edu Pérez-Landaluce (second in the classification of the Vuelta a Zamora) shone with their own light. An example of the leap in quality came in the international stage races, with Davide Piganzoli in the top 10 of the Giro U23, Álex Martín in the Giro del Valle de Aosta or the aforementioned podium of third in l’Isard as proof of this. Midway through the campaign, Javi Serrano, a former junior team rider who returned to Spain after an experience on the Italian calendar, joined the team. In the last months the step to professionals of David and Álex Martín with the EOLO-KOMETA Cycling Team (ProTeam formation that counted on David, Vicente Hernaiz and Davide Piganzoli as stagiaires) and the jump of Joan Martí Bennassar, Edu Pérez-Landaluce and Hernaiz with the new continental team of the Manuela Foundation.

Riders

Javier Serrano
José Luis Medina
Mario Vilches
Davide Piganzoli
Arnau Gilabert
Andrea Montoli
Álvaro García
Alejandro Luna
Fernando Tercero
David Martín
Vicente Hernaiz
Eduardo Pérez-Landaluce
Yago Segovia
Álex Martín
Alessio Acco
Joan Martí Bennassar

Beyond the great exceptionality of the whole campaign as a consequence of the COVID-19, with many postponements and suspensions, the seventh project of the Contador Foundation U23 took a very relevant course from the first to the last race in which it took part, without the confinement and its uncertainties affecting the performance in the return of the races. The Italian Alessio Acco made his debut for the team in its first commitment, the Memorial Chineta, at Burguillos de Toledo in February, and the Seville-born David Martín extended such a sweet start with a double stage victory and victory in the overall final of the prestigious Memorial Sanroma in Almagro. David Martín was one of the names of the course, four victories in his bag out of nine, with his great success in the Spanish Cup in Valladolid and his promotion to a leadership position that would last until the final race. In the overall final of the Spanish Cup, Vicente Hernaiz from Valladolid, finished in the third place on the podium. Hernaiz was another of the great riders of the season, signing a great victory in the Zamoran Trofeo San José. In 2020, Arturo Grávalos from La Rioja and Edu Pérez-Landaluce from Asturias promoted the continental Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team as a stagiaires. Two youngsters like Fernando Tercero from La Mancha or the Catalan Álex Martín continued to take firm steps in their progression, with outstanding performances in several competitions. In the case of the Barcelona native, special mention should be made of his stage victory in the Volta a Valencia, with a solo exhibition. Also of the Valencian appointment, in his last day, an emotional victory signed by the ‘captain’ Joan Martí Bennassar, always working for his companions and that scored a great success after a lesson of persistence and delivery.

Riders

Mario Vilches
Fernando Tercero
Edu Rodés
Álex Martín
Alessio Acco
David Martín
Eduardo Pérez-Landaluce
Joan Martí Bennassar
David Andrlé
Yago Segovia
Arturo Grávalos
Vicente Hernaiz

The sixth campaign of the U23 structure of the Alberto Contador Foundation has once again offered a great image from the first to the last race of the calendar. The team has been the protagonist in the fight for the Spanish Cup, a competition in which a couple of triumphs were caressed and where Alejandro Ropero finally finished second, and has curdled outstanding performances in the season of stage races. The presence in the Giro de Italia U23 or the great performances in the Spanish Championships were the icing on the cake in a year that has also had complicated moments, such as Jorge Pastor’s withdrawal from the competition, as well as Arturo Grávalos’s traffic accident that forced him to finish his year in advance with the departure of Sergio Hernández’s team at his own request. Ropero, with three victories (stage in the Vuelta al Bidasoa, stage in the Vuelta a Zamora, victory in the Trofeo Fira d’Agost de Xátiva), and the Italian Alessandro Fancellu (with his triumph in the Vuelta a León and its queen stage) signed the five successes of a team that showed a great regularity throughout the year. The Granadino Ropero was perhaps the spearhead of this constancy, because to these three successes must be added five second places and six third positions, both in the context of almost thirty top-ten positions kneaded during the course. Ropero, Fancellu and Sergio García have been the three riders who promote the continental team for the year 2020.

Riders

Alejandro Regueiro
Alejandro Ropero
Álex Martín
Alessandro Fancellu
Alessio Acco
Arturo Grávalos
Carlos García
Eduardo Pérez-Landaluce
Jhon Stiven Ramírez
Joan Martí Bennassar
Sergio García
Sergio Hernández
Yago Segovia

Few squads can say that they are a reference in just five years of life and in an environment as broad and competitive as the amateur cycling universe, but the truth is that the year 2018 left that mark, reinforced that impression with respect to the sub23 structure of the Fundación Alberto Contador led by Rafa Díaz Justo from Toledo. In the ointment from February to September, in the fight for one-day races and stage laps. In the Spanish Cup, Polartec-Kometa fought for the options of Juan Pedro López and José Antonio García, both riders of the continental team for 2019. The Sevillian López won the Trofeo Guerrita and finished third in Aiztondo, while García finished second in the demanding Memorial Momparler, fourth in the Macario and fifth in the Circuito del Guadiana. The prestigious Vuelta al Bidasoa was a turning point for the Madrid formation with the portentous performance of Juan Pedro López and his subsequent jump to the continental team. In the frenetic season of laps by stages, a lot of regularity for Alejandro Ropero, Jorge Pastor and Carlos García Pierna, some of the signatories of the not few top ten positions kneaded by the squad in the second part of the season. Positions specified in rounds by stages as the Vuelta a Navarra, the Volta a la Provincia de A Coruña, the Volta a Castellón, the Vuelta a Ávila, the Vuelta a Vetusta, the Vuelta a Salamanca, the Vuelta a la Provincia de Valencia and the Vuelta a Galicia. In that journey, the Polartec-Kometa U23 won the general squad in Castellón and Ropero finished third in Salamanca. And in between, many outstanding performances and much more teamwork. José Antonio García, with two stage victories in the Vuelta a Zamora, another in Salamanca and the final general of the Challenge Vuelta a Sevilla with success in the Clásica Velá de Triana, contributed the identity to some successes in which the weight of the collective was crucial.

Riders

Alejandro Regueiro
Alejandro Ropero
Carlos García
Daniel Viegas
Daniele Cantoni
Hugo Sampedro
Joan Martí Bennassar
Jorge Pastor
Jose Antonio García
Juan Pedro López
Sergio García
Sergio Hernández
Tomeu Gelabert
Wesley Mol
Xhuliano Kamberaj

The Polartec U23 team this year celebrates its fourth season with the vocation to reach its sporting maturity. The team, directed by former professionals Rafa Díaz Justo and Gorka Beloki, has grown to have a roster of 16 riders, which includes an elite rider for the first time. Although there is still a very strong bet for young people who come up from the Polartec Junior Team, we also bet for a more veteran squad to be able to face the difficult commitments of the international calendar.

With this team, the Alberto Contador Foundation also shows its vocation to face new challenges in the near future, thanks also to the commitment of our sponsors, especially Polartec, who has assumed the responsibility of being the main sponsor for the next two seasons. Together with Polartec have joined our project ŠKODA and Kometa as main suppliers, while continue one more season both Rotor and Etixx, completing the first line suppliers. It is also worth mentioning the arrival of partners such as TM Real Estate Group, KASK, KOO, HP Sports Science and Gaerne.

The Polartec teams of the Alberto Contador Foundation face a season in which they intend to go even deeper into the internationalization of the project, both with new incorporations of different nationalities and with a calendar that aims to lead our cyclists to compete for a growing number of races of the European calendar with the aim to facilitate to the maximum its ascent to the maximum category. The Polartec Under-23 team has sixteen riders this year, including the first Italian, British and Portuguese riders to wear the Alberto Contador Foundation jersey.

Riders

Claudio Clavijo
Daniele Cantoni
Diego Pablo Sevilla
Daniel Viegas
Fran Pérez
Harrison Jones
Isaac Cantón
Iker Eskibel
Joan Bou
Juan Camacho
Jorge Pastor
Juan Pedro López
Miguel Ángel Ballesteros
Sergio Hernández
Tomeu Gelabert
Alejandro Ropero

The arrival of RH+ and Polartec as title sponsors of the Alberto Contador Foundation has marked a milestone in the evolution of this project, also guaranteeing its continuity in the medium term. In the same way, the arrival of a new bicycle brand, Look, has been a great contribution for next seasons, guaranteeing a first quality material to all riders.

The third season of RH+/Polartec U23 was the consolidation of the team in an always difficult category. With riders still very young, they obtained a meritorious victory in the Spanish Cup by teams, which gives an idea of the high level average of this roster, also open to riders of other nationalities, an international vocation that the Alberto Contador Foundation intends to deepen in the future. The calendar also confirmed the international vocation, with participation in some of the best Italian, French and Belgian amateur races.

Following in the footsteps of Álvaro Cuadros, who passed to professionals directly from the Junior team, three riders graduated in the ranks of the U23 team: Enric Mas, Kenny Molly and Peio Olaberria.

Riders

Álvaro Cuadros
Daniele Cantoni
Diego Noriega
Diego Pablo Sevilla
Fernando Barceló
Fran Pérez
Guillem Cassu
Joan Bou
Juan Camacho
Juan Pedro López
Marin Joublot
Miguel Ángel Ballesteros
Sergio Hernández

The team takes hold in the category, good results are achieved and, more importantly, the team gives an image of fighter, competing for victory in each of the races where takes the start.

Proof of this are the podiums achieved in Vuelta a la Provincia de A Coruña, Vuelta a Navarra and Vuelta a Castellón, in the latter with victory in the queen stage. In all of them, the protagonist is Fernando Barceló. Enric Mas get a stage win in Vuelta al Bidasoa and goes up to the podium, as in the Tour of Palencia, where the roster was rewarded with the team’s victory.

A bright Miguel Ángel Ballesteros also has successfully broken into the podium of Summer Criterium. The team confirms its international commitment to participate in Circuit des Ardennes, Tour de Bretagne or the impressive Giro d’Aosta.

Riders

Ángel Fuentes
Cristian Torres
David Casillas
David de Pablos
Diego Noriega
Diego Pablo Sevilla
Enric Mas
Fernando Barceló
Fran Pérez
José Antonio García
Juan Camacho
Juanjo Pazos
Kenny Molly
Miguel Ángel Alcaide
Miguel Ángel Ballesteros
Óscar Linares
Pello Olaberria

It is the first season in the U23 category, with a very young team in which most riders are from first and second year. It is a year of learning and adaptation, but where the first glimmerings of quality of the roster were seen.

Team’s victory in the Vuelta al Bidasoa is achieved, which portends the great future of many of these young riders. Is the debut in international competitions such as the Tour de Bretagne (France) and the Course de la Paix (Czech Republic), next to professional teams, against which riders fought very well. The podium achieved by Enric Mas at Vuelta a Palencia was another important fact to note in this first year.

Riders

Cristian Torres
David Calmaestra
David Casillas
David de Pablos
Diego Noriega
Elías Ortíz
Enric Mas
Iosu Angoitia
Juan Antonio López-Cózar
Juan Camacho
Miguel Ángel Aguilera
Óscar Linares
Pablo Noriega
Pello Olaberria

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