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by Mark Zalewski
December 16, 2016
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Trek-Segafredo convinced Tour de France win is still within Contador’s reach; With an eye to the future, Mollema targets Giro and commits to Contador in 2017 Tour; Bart Wellens on transition to managing a team; Stijn Vandenbergh ready for Roubaix; Rob Peeters out with flu; George Bennett diagnosed with mononucleosis; Matthew Busche announces retirement; Wegmann retires after 15 seasons; Matteo Tosatto on retirement: ‘I will not beg for a contract’; Compton, Hyde win USA Cycling Pro CX titles; Tirreno-Adriatico 2017 route announced; Cyclist attempting to cycle around Britain abandons attempt; Practice the post-up before winning.
He’s now 34 years of age and hasn’t won a Grand Tour since the 2015 Giro d’Italia, but Alberto Contador’s new team has faith that the atmosphere at Trek-Segafredo will give him a new edge. Speaking to CyclingTips at the team training camp in Albir, Spain, general manager Luca Guercilena and directeur sportif Steven de Jongh have both backed Contador in his campaign to win another Tour de France. They have dismissed the claims of Tinkoff owner Oleg Tinkov that the rider is over the hill and won’t take another yellow jersey to Paris.
“Alberto is clearly a great champion,” said Guercilena. “For us it is really a success to have him here with us. I still think he is competitive in the GC, especially in the Grand Tours. We would love to support him and to create an environment that can help him to be back and to perform at 100 percent of what he needs.
“I think we are on the good way. We would like just to let him feel comfortable and relaxed at the start of the three week races so he can focus 100 percent on the performance.”
De Jongh worked with Contador for four years at Tinkoff and has moved across with the Spaniard, along with several others. He too was in attendance at the team camp and sat down to talk about the move. Like Guercilena, he too is convinced that Contador has more to give.
“He looks very happy,” de Jongh said. “He is pleased with everything happening with the team and also with all the other signings too. With the riders they have brought to the team and those they had before, he is maybe in better surroundings than in recent years. The structure looks really good too, so we are looking forward to the start of next season.”
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