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:
Taking the maximum advantage of the day, here with my little dog Gorla, on his first birthday 🙂 http://t.co/XN031Rlf— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) October 24, 2012
Again at the airport, now I'll start with first exercises for next year. http://t.co/c6OQN2QD— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) October 27, 2012
Today, World Stroke Day, the disease that changed my vision of life.Today I change my avatar and encourage you all that fight against it.— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) October 29, 2012
But as his charitable commitments show, he’s not too busy to spare a thought for those less fortunate:
Impressive images of hurricane Sandy. All my support to the victims.— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) October 31, 2012
Better stick to the cycling, Alberto, leave the tennis to Rafael Nadal [isn’t that yet another of Kitty’s faves? – Ed]
Today I played padel in the morning... Definitely cycling is my task 🙂 http://t.co/Ng39T1fy— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) November 1, 2012
The Specialized-A.Contador Foundation Junior Team will be real in 2013.It's necessary to help the cycling base.I hope they will come more!— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) November 1, 2012
Alberto’s not one to forget either his friends or his supporters:
Hello all,thanks very much for your support, I'm not competing now but I'm already preparing next year,it will be great! 😉 #motivated— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) November 5, 2012
Time for some more training, this time in mountainous and verdant Asturias, home of Samu Sanchez (Euskaltel).
Sobran las palabras"Asturias Paraiso Natural". Words are unnecessary: "Asturias, natural paradise" http://t.co/6WvSVdZT— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) November 10, 2012
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.
Congrats to all Worlds pilots and specially to @marcmarquez93 for his impressive race and championship. You deserve it!— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) November 12, 2012
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.
Bit rusty after yesterday. Team building playing soccer, volleyball, canoeing, swiming and more! Lots of fun.— nicholas roche (@nicholasroche) November 14, 2012
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.
Here my first ZeroRh+ glasses for 2013 season 🙂 Thanks @zerorheyewear http://t.co/qfHqEdW9— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) November 28, 2012
Today I had to suffer cold, but with my loyal companion 🙂 This is the one of the Vuelta a España http://t.co/Cxn01gQw— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) November 29, 2012
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.
Thanks Elvio for that beautiful homage in Fossano(Italy).Here the fantastic 'Cuadrifoglio D'oro' http://t.co/Vug7JDmW— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) December 1, 2012
Alberto’s also been freezing his butt off in Russia with Bjarne Riis undertaking a few commitments on behalf of the team’s sponsors:
Buenos dias Moscow,impresionante como esta la pista!!!Good morning Moscow! http://t.co/01WA8Ug1— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) December 4, 2012
Fortunately after braving the cold and Oleg Tinkoff, Alberto’s back among friends ready to celebrate his birthday:
Nothing better than 2 hours on bike with great friends to recover from a trip http://t.co/npCXdoZn— Alberto Contador (@albertocontador) December 4, 2012
But there’s no peace as no sooner than he’s back, he’s off signing autographs …
Para todos los que preguntais, @albertocontador estará mañana a partir de las 18:30h en ParqueSur de Leganes firmando autógrafos.— Francisco Contador (@fjcontador) December 4, 2012