“We still have a lot more to learn, a lot more to improve”

With the celebration of most of the national cycling championships and the imminent arrival of the Tour de France, the year of cycling is facing a new turning point. Six months of season that, in the specific case of the continental Polartec-Kometa, have been a real discovery for the team from Madrid with Italian roots. Constant discovery. Six months of experiences, adventures and intense learning that have not been without their successes, achievements and good times. The seven victories of Matteo Moschetti, the confirmation of the future promotion of Milanese Trek-Segafredo from 2019, the good performances of Michel Ries in several stage races, the escape attempts starring Isaac Cantón, Patrick Gamper, Diego Pablo Sevilla… A new album that already has many cards.

“The balance of these six months is very positive. I believe that, at the European level, we have managed to be a benchmark team within the continental category. And I also think that we have managed to implement in the category that image, that own stamp, that we already had in the U23 and junior categories. We still have a lot more to learn, we still have a lot to improve, but I think that so far the balance is really very positive. We have to be very happy with the route we have taken, regardless of the six victories, seven of which were achieved with his team, by Matteo Moschetti. A number, without a doubt, unexpected”, considers Fran Contador, manager of the formation.

Stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia Giovani from Darfo Boario Terme to Dimaro Folgarida, Italy, on 12 June 2018.

On this road, which began at the end of January with the Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Polartec-Kometa has not only achieved six successes (plus a seventh also with the signature of Moschetti who came in a round of the U23 Nations Cup, where he competed with Italy), but has achieved 38 top-20 in stages and one-day races, twenty-two of which have been top-10 and thirteen top-5. Diego Pablo Sevilla, with the mountain of the Tour de la Provence in France, Awet Habtom, with the general of the young people of the Tour de Antalya, or Moschetti, with the one of the points in the Turkish race, have signed some of the sparks of the team in secondary classifications.  Except in the Miguel Indurain Grand Prix, the Klasika Primavera or the City of Lugano GP, one-day events, the rest of the events always had a runner in at least one stage (in the case of one-day events) in the top 20. And on the Amorebieta date, Kevin Inkelaar finished twenty-first. Focusing on overall rankings, six top-20 finishes, including three (Awet, third in Antalya; Sevilla, fourth in Rhodes; Ries, ninth in the U23 Giro) are top-5.  In a training squad, in a development team, a good line.

The prologue of the Giro d’Italia Giovani at Forli, Italy, on 7 June 2018.

“Polartec-Kometa is a team that has started with a lot of ambition to do things well, to show itself and to always have its own identity in the race. To be a protagonist. It is clear that in these four or five months of the season we have achieved many results, not only in terms of victory, but also in attitude, in fight. I liked the commitment, the attitude shown in many events, the desire to win prizes in the mountains, flying goals, combativities…. Objectives much more relevant than it seems at first glance and that give a lot of strength to the project. And in this sense I would also like to involve our U23 and junior teams, who have given us a lot of satisfaction in these areas as well.  In Italy we use an expression,’to be dyed pink’, when referring to a bright, successful, fruitful future. We have a project, we have support,…. I think the future of the team is rosy. Of course, beyond the improvement of the riders from the sporting point of view, we are also very happy because they have also grown as people,” Ivan Basso said.

For Contador, the following steps are clear. “Looking to the future, the objective is clear: to consolidate our position in the category. It’s only been six months. Like the one that says, we’re just getting started. We must improve as much as we can and continue to grow. Little by little. And it’s a well-known fact that, in that step-by-step process, we want to make a leap into the continental professional category in the future. “So far we have done very well and it will not be easy to repeat these results. Winning and mentalization are certainly not going to be lacking. And we have the potential to do it very, very, very, very well,” Basso concludes.

(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)