Alberto Contador sets off on 1,600km ride after his team won a stage of the Giro d’Italia

The retired Grand Tour star promised to take on the huge ride to celebrate the major win for his ProTeam

Alberto Contador
Alberto Contador
(Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Alberto Contador has set off on a 1,600km trek from Madrid all the way to Milan, to celebrate his team’s first Grand Tour stage victory.  

Eolo-Kometa, the Italian-registered but Spanish-based team set up by retired Grand Tour stars Contador and Ivan Basso, competed in their first three-week race earlier this year, the Giro d’Italia. 

Despite only stepping up to ProTeam level at the start of 2021, Contador’s team emerged from the Giro with a stage win on one of the toughest mountains in Italy, the Monte Zoncolan, as Lorenzo Fortunato took a stunning victory. 

Before the start of the 2021 edition of the Italian Grand Tour, Contador promised to take on his own mammoth cycling challenge if the team were able to beat the odds and win a stage - words he may have regretted as he watch Fortunato’s victory on the TV screen. 

Alberto Contador is riding from Madrid to Milan

Alberto Contador is riding from Madrid to Milan

(Image credit: Strava )

On Monday (September 13), the 38-year-old set off on the first leg of his long-distance challenge, surrounded by a group of friends. 

The huge first ride was an impressive start, as Contador spent 10 hours and 39 minutes on the saddle, covering 368km from Madrid to Zaragoza. 

Contador, who retired from professional racing in 2017, said: “Today was one of the most beautiful days that I have spent on a bicycle, a beautiful stage lived among friends.” 

The Spaniard is becoming famous for his ultra-cycling challenges after his retirement, as he briefly held the Everesting record back in July 2020. 

>>> Alex Peters is enjoying cycling again, returning to Tour of Britain after mental health break 

In August, he was forced to step off the bike during a brutal 240km ‘Everest’ Grand Fondo in Switzerland, admitting he wasn’t prepared for the event.

But he appears to have found his form once again, as he still has around 1,300km left to ride on his extraordinary celebration tour.  

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.