Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso are the two of the most successful cyclists of their generation, and they now run Eolo–Kometa together, after starting the team in 2018.
The pair had cycled in the peloton for years together, and rode for the same team in 2015 at Tinkoff-Saxo, Basso's final year in professional cycling. The pair then joined up together again at the same team in 2017, following their moves to Trek-Segafredo. However, Basso had instead took up a support staff position, following his retirement.
Once Spaniard Contador retired after 2017, the pair then began their own team, Eolo–Kometa.
Following their team's final stage win of Zoncolan at the Giro d'Italia from Lorenzo Fortunato, Alberto decided to cycle the 1600km route from Pinto to Milan in six days a few weeks ago, fulfilling the promise he made during that incredible win for the team.
However, the 38-year-old claims his physical condition is still as good as it was when rode professionally.
Alberto Contador told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "Last year during the lockdown I trained a lot. My physical condition was the same as when I retired.
"With a few extra pounds but with work I would have recovered them. There was a moment when I thought about going back. At one point I thought about coming back - for one race. The Giro. I wanted to ride Giro 2020.
"Then we (Contador and Basso) settled our heads."
Ivan Basso concluded that he will ride the same route if Eolo–Kometa win two stages at the next Giro, but may have to do so on an electric bike.
During the interview, the pair also make clear how highly they regard the Giro d'Italia, reminiscing on their memories of the gruelling stages. Basso also recounts a pivotal moment that Contador faced at the 2015 Giro, when the Spaniard was unable to stick with Astana rider Mikel Landa during one of the stages.
Basso said: "In 2015 I began to feel fatigue, but we wanted to win that tour and Alberto was the strongest. I remember the Aprica stage. I gave him the wheel because the cars were far away. Obviously Astana (Mikel Landa) attacked.
"We tried to help Alberto but he found himself alone. I think it was one of the days when he struggled the most. There was two or three minutes of silence.
"Finally he said to me, 'brother, they woke up the beast. Tomorrow they will see hell."
Contador duly went onto win the General Classification for the 2015 Giro d'Italia, his second career win of the event.
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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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