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With the turn of the new year, Alberto Contador has taken to social media to tease the launch of his own bike brand. The news spells the end of Contador’s relationship with Trek Bikes and the Trek-Segafredo team.
In October 2019, Spanish Triathlon website Triathlon Noticias reported that Contador will be leaving Trek to launch his own brand in 2020, with the news coming from Ivan Basso via la Gazzetta dello Sport.
Like Contador, Ivan Basso is a former Giro d’Italia champion. Since their time racing as both competitors and teammates, Basso and Contador have become friends and business partners in the Bend36 “active cosmetics” (cycling embrocation) brand.
According to la Gazzetta’s reporting, the new bike company was poised to take over the sponsorship reins of the Alberto Contador Foundation cycling teams, including the Kometa-Xstra UCI Continental team which had previously served as a feeder team to Trek-Segafredo. Basso, the sports manager of the team, had suggested that they have big growth plans which couldn’t be achieved with the Trek-Segafredo partnership.
Starting with an “A”, the full name of the new bike brand hasn’t yet been revealed. If the brand’s Instagram account is to be believed, then it’ll be a five-letter word.
Further details about the bike and brand are scarce. From Contador’s own Instagram post – a three minute video in which he unwraps the bike and comments on it in Spanish – it’s obvious the first model is a lightweight all-round disc-equipped carbon road bike.
It appears to offer a number of fairly traditional elements, including a round seatpost, raised seat stays and only a moderately sloped toptube. Internal cable routing, a hidden seatpost clamp and generous tyre clearance are also visible. In Contador’s comments, he estimates the weight at around 6kg.
Really interesting is the obvious attention given to the Lightweight wheels and cockpit components. Is this simply a sponsorship, or could it be a more involved partnership where Lightweight is involved in the design of these bikes? No doubt the specific details will be revealed in near time.