Happy birthday Alberto Contador

Alberto keeping a watchful eye on a potential future contender

Alberto keeping a watchful eye on a potential future contender

Feliz 30 cumpleaños! As he reaches the ripe old age of 30, Alberto has been musing a bit about retirement, possibly after his current contract with Saxo-Tinkoff expires in three years. You might find this surprising but probably not when I show you the demands placed on a multiple Grand Tour winner in the ‘quiet’ season.

After trips to the presentations of both Grand Tours, Alberto was back on his bike and training with gusto for the forthcoming season despite not knowing whether or not his team were going to stay in cycling’s elite. Here’s a look at just some of the things he’s been doing:

But as his charitable commitments show, he’s not too busy to spare a thought for those less fortunate:

Better stick to the cycling, Alberto, leave the tennis to Rafael Nadal [isn’t that yet another of Kitty’s faves? – Ed]

Alberto’s not one to forget either his friends or his supporters:

Time for some more training, this time in mountainous and verdant Asturias, home of Samu Sanchez (Euskaltel).

Like me Alberto shares a fondness for MotoGP and its latest young star, the MotoGP2 World Champion, Marc Marquez, who’s moving up to MotoGP. Remember that name, Marc’s a MotoGP World Champion in waiting.

Then it’s off to Gran Canaria and the first get-together of the new Saxo-Tinkoff team which has been strengthened to better help Alberto win Grand Tour titles.

All abord for Saxo-Tinkoff

All abord for Saxo-Tinkoff

Alberto and team mates visit a children's hospital

Alberto and team mates visit a children’s hospital

Apart from all the usual things one does at team camps, there was time for a bit of all-important team bonding with messing about on the beach and in the water. The team also undertook a ride for charity on the island and visited a children’s hospital.

All too soon the fun and games were over and it was back down to training and commitments with sponsors. Although there was still time to cheer on fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso in the race to the F1 title.

Alberto was awarded the ‘Quadrifolgio d’Oro’ (four-leaf clover) at a dinner in the company of who’s who in Italian cycling in recognition of his Grand Tour successes. It was made by Elvio Chiatellino, a businessman  – and fan of Alberto – from Cuneo which has hosted stages of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. Chiatellino is helping the town bid for the 2017 Road World Championships which might offer Alberto the chance of a rainbow jersey before he retires.

Alberto’s also been freezing his butt off in Russia with Bjarne Riis undertaking a few commitments on behalf of the team’s sponsors:

Alberto braving the cold in Moscow (image courtesy of Alberto Contador)

Alberto braving the cold in Moscow (image courtesy of Alberto Contador)

Fortunately after braving the cold and Oleg Tinkoff, Alberto’s back among friends ready to celebrate his birthday:

But there’s no peace as no sooner than he’s back, he’s off signing autographs …

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