Alberto Contador made the trip from his training base in Lugano, Switzerland, to Fonzaso, Italy, to visit his Tinkoff-Saxo team’s clothing supplier, Sportful – and we were there, too.
The five-time Grand Tour winner was joined by two team-mates, Italian duo Matteo Tosatto and Manuele Boaro, who both live within a bike ride’s distance of Sportful’s HQ, nestled in the heart of the Dolomites.
We took the opportunity to ride with Contador and see El Pistolero in full-flight on the Croce d’Aune – just one of the countless climbs which tower above Fonzaso. We caught up with Contador to hear about his dominant start to the season and spoke at length with Tosatto, a professional who has ridden 28 Grand Tours. Watch out for interviews with both.
The Dolomites serve as both an inspiration for the development of new products and as a playground in which to put the prototypes which are made in the factory to the test. While our ride with Contador took place in heavy rain, and through a haze of low, mountain mist and sky-high heart rates, dawn broke on the following day with a blue sky to reveal the staggering beauty of the environment.
And so we set out into the mountains for a stunning three-and-a-half hour ride which enabled us to understand the Dolomites philosophy which underpins Sportful, and came back to tour the company’s facility. We spoke with the head of affairs, brand manager Steve Smith, to find out where he plans to take one of Italy’s most successful clothing companies and came back with behind-the-scenes photos from inside the HQ.
All that’s to come on RoadCyclingUK but, for now, here’s a taste of what to expect.