Guillermo Gutiérrez: “Our goal: the riders learn as much as possible within our structure”
The junior team of the Fundación Contador faces this weekend its first preseason training camp, a meeting that will take place in the town of Pinto (Madrid) and in the context of which will take place the protocolary medical tests by Premiummadrid, an afternoon hike and a bike ride through the southern plains of Madrid. The 2022 squad, the coaching staff and the trainers have, however, been working electronically for several weeks.
“It’s a really well-balanced team. As this year we have built the team according to what we were looking for in the squad, in the end we have covered the squad for the mountains as well as for the sprint, we have fast riders and guys who are very good on the flat. The team idea is clear, but then we have to translate it from paper to the road. And that is always a complex process”, says Guillermo Gutiérrez, director of the junior team.
The 2022 project has been revamped, with many new additions. “But the main lines of the project are always the same in the end”, Gutiérrez stresses. “Here we don’t have the sole objective or the main objective of achieving victories. We are a training team and the objective is that they learn as much as possible within our structure. To do so, we invest all the resources at our disposal to ensure that this training is the best possible. Winning is neither fundamental nor a priority and neither do we sell, and this is something that we have discussed from the beginning in talks with parents, not that they are going to become professionals here, but that they are going to move on to the U23 category. We try to train the riders and then, depending on the training they receive, we see the potential they have and we give them a pass, or not, to the U23 team. And this doesn’t mean that just because they don’t pass here they can’t be professional cyclists in the future, not at all”.
On current youth cycling and the evolution of the category, with increasing attention from professional teams when it comes to signing riders, Gutiérrez reflects: “Personally, I think that at least two years in the amateur category is not bad for anyone. It’s true that cycling is changing a lot and that all of us who are part of this sport in one way or another have to evolve as well. We cannot be left behind. Cyclists like Carlos Rodríguez, who we have been able to have our own structure, or Juan Ayuso have more than proved their abilities, but they are concrete examples that are at another level. They are exceptional cases”.
With a view to 2022, two riders have been promoted from the junior team to Rafa Díaz Justo and Dario Andriotto’s U23 team: Antonio González and Marc Terrasa. “Marc and Antonio are two great people, we always take them into account in our structure, and on a sporting level they have shown that they are two very good cyclists. Antonio and Marc have shown us that during their time with us. We know that they can be there, but without losing sight of the fact that it is complicated and that they have a lot of work ahead of them”.