The Selection Campus ‘La Mafia se sienta a la mesa’, where tomorrow’s stars emerge
VII Campus de Selección ‘La Mafia se sienta a la mesa’
Zaragoza: from 6 to 8 September
The city of Zaragoza will host this weekend a new edition of the Campus ‘La Mafia se sienta a la mesa’ (‘The Mafia sits at the table’) thanks to which the Alberto Contador Foundation chooses the new riders who join its youth structure. A pioneering initiative at the time, the Campus is a fundamental event in the day-to-day life of the Foundation as part of its commitment to the implementation of a comprehensive training project and the six editions that have been contested begin to leave their mark on the front line of the international pack after doing so in the junior and under23 categories.
The Sevillian Juan Pedro López, next rider of a Trek-Segafredo to which he joined as stagiaire last August, is the first cyclist to arrive at the WorldTour after having passed through the Selection Campus. The Andalusian cyclist disembarked in the then called Flex for 2015 and in 2016 he arrived in a U23 team from which he jumped to the continental structure in May 2018. In this 2019 season, two riders who have also been part of the Campus are coming together, Alejandro Ropero, in the U23 category, and Carlos Rodríguez, one of the most notable youth riders in the European category.
Precisely López will be one of the great protagonists of this seventh edition that will take place between Friday 6 and Sunday 8 with the substantial support of the Aragonese restaurant chain ‘La Mafia se sienta a la mesa’, which has been celebrating since the second edition. The Andalusian will be responsible for giving a talk about his experience as a cyclist and his experiences within the Alberto Contador Foundation to, later, captain the bicycle start in which the climb to the Virgin of Dorleta, in the town of Jaulín, emerges as a great difficulty. This Sunday route is the only pedalistic experience that takes place during the Campus of Selection, since here other aspects prevail for which a series of group dynamics and team games are organized and also personal interviews with the candidates are undertaken.
“The Campus is very good. The youth structure of the Foundation is a team where all the kids want to run. I tried it a first year, in 2013, but it couldn’t be; and the following year I came back because I wanted to be in the team and it made me very happy to be able to get it at the end. It’s a very good idea to bring together kids from different places during a weekend of coexistence and with cycling as an excuse,” says Juan Pedro Lopez about a Campus that, since its premiere in 2013, have passed about 200 participants.
This year there will be thirty kids who will be part of the seventh edition. Andalucía, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Galicia, Catalunya, Comunidad Valenciana, Islas Baleares, Madrid, Navarra and País Vasco are the communities of origin of a group where, once again, there will be international representation thanks to an assistant who comes from France.
“It is a different weekend. Games, activities, personal interviews… We are all going with the illusion of being among those selected, of taking steps in cycling and reaching the top, but beyond that the experience itself is wonderful,” explains Alejandro Ropero, who also took part in two editions of the same (2014 and 2015).
Carlos Rodriguez, rider of the youth team: “It was something incredible and in my experience I am sure that all attendees will have a great time and eager to return. I went to the Campus with a lot of enthusiasm to join the team. An unforgettable experience awaited me, but it ended up being even better than I expected. From the first moment the treatment was magnificent and the program of activities was very good. In those moments, from my point of view, we began to build a team where all of us, with our assigned mission, worked to achieve the best result for the whole. We had a great relationship with all the kids and we had a great time with the physical activities. We also had the opportunity that Alberto accompanied us on our bike outing. In the end all that made us want more and for longer”.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)