Alberto Contador has claimed that the current peloton is one of the strongest cycling has ever seen, describing it as a "golden generation."
One of only two riders to have won all three Grand Tours more than once, Contador enjoyed a staggering amount of success during his 15-year career. Therefore, the Spaniard, who now works with Eurosport TV and with his team Eolo Kometa, possesses the perfect credentials to pass judgement on what he believes is an exciting time for the sport.
Speaking to Spanish newspaper Ultima Hora (opens in new tab), Contador said: “Cycling is living one of its best moments. We are before a golden generation. In whatever race or stage, we’re seeing ambition, with the big names fighting for victory. This is helping cycling have more impact and fans.”
Contador continues, claiming that Tadej Pogačar is the standout star among the current riders. Pogačar has already equalled the same amount of Tour de France wins that Contador managed in his career, with two wins at just 23 years old.
However, the Spaniard also recognises that the strength of competition means Pogačar will find it difficult to maintain such incredibly high standards, despite having plenty of room for improvement
He said: “Pogačar dominates the Tour and he’s the man to beat, especially after what he did last year. But every edition is different and there’s competition. Roglič had problems, so we’ll see how he is in 2022.
"But I see a very strong Pogačar, with room to improve, and becoming more confident by his results, and he shows a spectacular level when he tries to win."
Women's cycling is also something that the seven-time Grand Tour winner focuses on, suggesting that seeing riders such as three-time Spanish national road race champion Mavi García is only a positive thing for the sport.
Contador said: "Women's cycling is booming at the level of competition and media coverage. In Spain we have the case of Mavi García. She reflects that step forwards has been taken in Spain, and worldwide. The great professional teams have a female structure and there are more and better races shows the way and will surely motivate the younger riders."
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
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