The Polartec-Kometa U23 and Continental teams started up in Mar de Pulpí (Almería) during the last week, during a training camp developed from 11 to 20 of this month of December and in which the master lines of the 2018 season were drawn.
Jesús Hernández and Dario Andriotto, as sport directors of the Continental Polartec-Kometa, had at their orders nine of the team’s eleven riders: Michele Gazzoli, Matteo Moschetti, Patrick Gamper, Michel Ries, Kevin Inkelaar, Diego Pablo Sevilla, Juan Camacho, Isaac Cantón and Miguel Ángel Ballesteros. Only the Eritrean Awet Habtom and the Colombian Wilson Peña were missing, who will join the team in January to start the season with their teammates.
It was the opportunity to tune the first Trek bicycles, which came directly from the Trek-Segafredo Race Service, and were assembled by Faustino Muñoz, Alberto Contador’s usual mechanic and who will be in the Polartec-Kometa team car next season. Also were there Matteo Azzolini, team trainer from the Mapei Sport Center, and Ivan Basso, sports manager, that spent the first days of this stay in Almería with the riders. Coordinating both teams was Félix García Casas, technical responsible of all the teams integrated into the structure of the Contador Foundation.
Ivan Basso highlights that he has seen the team “in very good shape and the base of the season has been worked very well. For a new team it is very important to start getting to know each other and find the balance between them.” The sport directors, Jesús Hernández and Dario Andriotto, “have told me about the great enthusiasm that all the riders have for starting the new season and that they have finished the training camp much better than they arrived, ejoying the most of the good weather we have had in Mar de Pulpí”.
On the part of the Under 23 Team, Rafael Díaz Justo had at his command the fifteen riders who make up the 2018 squad: Tomeu Gelabert, Alejandro Ropero, Jorge Pastor, Daniel Viegas, Sergio Hernandez, Juan Pedro Lopez, Daniele Cantoni, Hugo Sampedro, Sergio García, Joan Martí Bennassar, Carlos García, José Antonio García, Alejandro Regueiro, Wesley Mol and Giuliano Camberaj. All of them also began their work with a view to the 2018 season, in which they will debut on February 17-18 at the San Roma Memorial in Almagro (Spain).
“This training camp has helped us to integrate the seven new riders of the team”, explains Rafa Díaz Justo. “We have four riders from the junior team and, therefore, already know how we work, and three new ones, although two of them, Wesley Mol and Giuliano Camberaj, already ran a race with us this year”.
“The training camp has been a success because we have been able to do many hours of cycling thanks to the climate of Almeria, while we have transmitted what will be the working guidelines for next year and we have tuned the new material, also adjusting the measures of the bikes, the shoes, etc. thanks to the privilege of being able to count on the help of Faustino Muñoz. We have all come out with very clear ideas: the 2018 Polartec-Kometa has a block of great quality and we must show the maximum competitiveness in each race we go to”, said Rafa Diaz Justo.
Both teams also took the opportunity to meet each other and ride together for several days, which served to convey their respective experiences and feel part of the same project, the Alberto Contador Foundation. After the Christmas and New Year celebrations, the Continental team will again carry out a new training camp in Mar de Pulpí with all its riders, to prepare its debut in competition and also launch the competition kit of the 2018 season that Polartec will manufacture for all teams of the Alberto Contador Foundation.