Contador Foundation team secures new backer and ProTeam status

Kometa-Xstra to become EOLO-Kometa from 2021 as new backers come on board.

Alberto Contador’s Kometa-Xstra team has secured a new major sponsor and stepped up in the UCI rankings.

The Spanish development team established and managed by legendary ex-pro Alberto Contador and his brother Fran has partnered Italian internet company EOLO. The new backers will act as co-sponsor alongside Hungarian brand Kometa.

The three-year deal will come into force in 2021 and see the team be renamed EOLO-Kometa and become Italian registered.

The investment will enable the team to step up from UCI Continental to ProTeam level. With the ProTeam category sitting just one tier down from the top-ranked WorldTour, the Contadors’ squad will have access to a swathe more races next season.

“Today is a very special day because it is the realization of a dream that we have been working hard at for years,” Fran Contador said in a press release. “It’s a dream that comes true after a few months that are also really difficult for this sport because of the situation that the coronavirus has caused.

“We have always been very clear that the jump in category [to ProTeam] was a goal, but not at any price. Now we have a great challenge ahead of us with a great responsibility, but with the confidence in the fruits that our work is beginning to bear from the base.”

Alberto Contador established the team in 2017 and has been eyeing WorldTour status ever since. When first set up, the squad was known as Polartec-Kometa and served as a development team for top-tier squad Trek-Segafredo. Since then, Contador has brought in retired Italian star Ivan Basso as sport director.

“We are delighted to support Ivan Basso and the Alberto Contador Foundation’s project,” said EOLO president Luca Spada. “At EOLO, we strongly believe in talent and achieving results through commitment, hard work, sacrifice and teamwork. But on top of that, we share many other deeply-rooted values with cycling.

“This sport can unite Italy through a unique network throughout the country, bringing the most successful champions to large cities and small towns, places that – as EOLO – are very dear to us.”