The deal happened this summer and made the surface during the Tour de France. Today, however, the American WorldTour team confirmed the one-year contract with two-time Tour champion. Contador also counts two Giro d’Italia titles and three titles from the Vuelta a España.
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“I am thrilled about the opportunity that is in front of me,” said Contador. “I had some excellent conversations with the team management, and we have a lot of goals and priorities in common. The big objective is to try and win the most important races on the calendar — first and foremost the Tour de France.
“The sporting side was the key point in my decision. This team is focused on performance, and there’s a really strong group of riders with experience in all kinds of terrain, not only the mountains.
“I am convinced that this team can provide me with the best structure and bring me in the best conditions to the races. I race to win, and I am determined to get intensely invested in this team.”
Contador just fought his way to fourth overall in the Vuelta a España behind winner Nairo Quintana (Movistar) despite crashing early on. His aggressiveness helped form one of the race’s key moves in stage 15 to Formigal. Quintana rode clear with Contador and put 2-43 minutes into Team Sky’s Chris Froome.
In the peloton, Contador is known as a fighter. Even Froome admitted that the Tour de France this year lost some of its excitement when Contador had to abandon early due to crashes.
Trek-Segafredo now has a bonafide Tour de France contender for the first time since Fränk and Andy Schleck were at their best.
“Alberto is a formidable rider and a real fighter,” General Manager Luca Guercilena said. “He’s a champion. There is really no one like Alberto in the current peloton, and we are very happy to welcome him to the team. With Alberto, I believe we are taking the next step in developing our team. Next year, we’ll be stronger and all-around better and broader.”
Contador raced the last six years with Saxo Bank/Tinkoff. He is leaving team Tinkoff this season partly because its owner Oleg Tinkov decided to turn his back on cycling.
Sports director Steven De Jongh and team-mate Jesús Hernández will also switch from Tinkoff to Trek-Segafredo with Contador.
“I am really happy to come back to Trek because I also rode a Trek bike in 2009,” Hernández added. “Alberto is like my brother and coming back with him to the Trek family is really something special. It means a lot to me.”
Contador rode Trek bicycles to his two Tour wins with Discovery Channel and Astana. His contract value is closely guarded, but it should be in the ballpark of €2 to €3 million.
Mechanic Faustino Muñoz Cambron and Tinkoff sports director Ivan Basso reportedly will also join Trek-Segafredo from team Tinkoff.
Trek-Segafredo will have a different feel next season. Bauke Mollema will stay after riding to seventh in this year’s Tour de France, but classics star Fabian Cancellara is retiring after winning the gold medal in the Olympic time trial this summer.
Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix winner John Degenkolb will lead the team in the classics after joining from Giant-Alpecin and, with the team’s confirmation today, Contador will do the same in the tours.