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in love with Oliva Nova

There is a special bond between Alberto Contador and Oliva Nova. A solid connection. The Spanish competition last year, has a weakness for the resort. He chose the resort as the headquarter for his demanding training sessions long time ago, when he was still fully active as a professional cyclist. The climate and the layout of the land, where the plains meet the mountains, allowed him to get on the road for kilometres and kilometres around the area. The Spanish champion is organising, for the second consecutive year, the spectacular course Marcha Alberto Contador in Oliva Nova. The next edition is on the 29th of September, with more than 2.000 participants attending. Oliva is the background for cyclists. The participants will be able to enjoy a route of 167kms that is completely closed off to traffic.

Being born in Madrid in 1982, the same year Spain hosted the Football World Cup, Alberto Contador grew up in Pinto, a town near the capital city. His older brother passed the twowheel passion on to him. Another of his brothers, Raul, taught him not to surrender against adversities. He has cerebral palsy.

At the age of 15, Contador was already standing out on the bike as a junior. In 2002, he won the Spanish National Time Trial Championship U-23 and, only one year later, he was riding as a professional cyclist with the ONCE-Eroski team. A versatile cyclist started to emerge, he climbed well on inclined roads as easily as Perico Delgado and he stood up in time trial races. In 2004, Contador faced an unexpected race: after falling from the bike in the Vuelta a Asturias, he was diagnosed with a cavernoma, a brain bleeding which put his life at risk. The surgery was a success. A scar going from one side to the other over the top of his head and two titanium plates are with him since then.

“When there is a will, there is a way”. These were his first words right after waking up from the anaesthesia. One year later, the cyclist from Pinto won the most important stage of the Tour Down Under race in Australia. As a thruster, he took off. In 2007, he won his first Tour de France. He obtained both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España the following year. At the age of 25, he was the fifth cyclist in history winning the three most important races. And in 2009, after a titanic fight with Lance Armstrong in the French tour, Contador was the winner and went home with his second Tour. Suddenly, another setback: a positive test for clenbuterol, which was argued by him because of the consumption of contaminated meat. After a period of suspensions and appeals, in 2011 he won his second Giro d’Italia. He overcame hardship once again.

In 2012 and 2014, he repeated his win in the Vuelta a España. The first victory is known because of the way he turned the race into his favour during Fuente Dé stage, when nobody took his side. He made a superhuman effort. Nobody kept calm when Contador was in the bunch. They all knew that, at an unguarded moment, he could attack. It was commendable to know that he was going to fluster any stage. He won again in the Vuelta a España 2014 and, the latest years, misfortune prevented him of being on the top in Paris. Even though, in 2016, he made his last demonstration to professional cycling with a heroic breakaway making easy to win for his colleague Nairo Quintana. His contribution to the history of cycling is two Tour de France, two Giro d’Italia and three Vueltas a España. No less no more.

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