UAE TEAM EMIRATES
United Arab Emirates
UAE TEAM EMIRATES
The last Italian WorldTour team has been riding under an Arab flag since 2017. After the 2016 Tour de France, Lampre announced that it had been purchased by a Chinese consortium. However, the main drivers behind the continued existence of the team managed —either from the shadows or in the spotlight— by Giuseppe Saronni since his last season as a rider in 1990 are four Emirati companies brought together by Mauro Gianetti, including the Dubai-based airline Emirates.
Lampre used to focus on the Giro d'Italia. The best overall classification achieved by one of its riders in the Tour de France was Lithuanian Raimondas Rumšas's third place in 2002. Roberto Conti became the third Italian to conquer the Alpe d'Huez (after Fausto Coppi and Gianni Bugno) and finished sixth in 1994. Damiano Cunego came in seventh in 2011. The Italian laminated steel manufacturer's blue-and-fuchsia jersey first appeared in the Tour in 1993, when the Uzbek sprinter Djamolidine Abdoujaparov had his most successful Grande Boucle ever, with three stages and the points classification. The team ceased to exist from 1997 to 1999 due to a short-lived merger with Mapei, but the Galbusera family (father and son manage the company) put an end to the sponsor's hiatus in cycling with another sprinter, Czech Ján Svorada, who won Tour stages in both periods (1994 and 2001). Before bolstering its arsenal with Italian sprinters such as Daniele Bennati, Alessandro Petacchi and Sacha Modolo, the Lampre team rocked the Tour de France in 2002, when young Swiss Rubens Bertogliati took off under the flamme rouge and dashed the hopes of the peloton led by Erik Zabel, who was still to remain the king of sprinting for some time.
Rubén Plaza's solo victory in Gap in 2015 was the last major feat by a Lampre rider. In its four starts as UAE Team Emirates, the team fought for the general classification and finished in eighth place twice, first in 2017 with the slender South African Louis Meintjes and then in 2018 with the Irishman Dan Martin, who also became the first rider to win a Tour de France stage for an outfit based in the Middle East. Alexander Kristoff became the first rider to win the Champs-Élysées stage for the team, which floundered in 2019 as Fabio Aru and Dan Martin finished fourteenth and eighteenth overall, respectively. Everything changed in 2020. Kristoff won the opener in Nice and pulled on the yellow jersey. Tadej Pogačar bode his time and waited until the right moment to reclaim the coveted garment for the team, on the eve of the finish, thanks to his victory in the time trial to La Planche des Belles Filles. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world's tallest skyscraper, lit up with a picture of the youngest Tour de France champion since 1904!
23 : Tour de France starts by Lampre, which became UAE Team Emirates in 2017, since 1993 (streak unbroken since 2005).
- Final victory0
- Stages victories19
- Yellows Jerseys5
- Other race Won0
Overall wins: 1
- 2020: Tadej Pogačar
Podium finishes: 1
- 2002: Raimondas Rumšas, third
Stage wins: 19
- 1993: Djamolidine Abdoujaparov in Vannes, Bordeaux and Paris
- 1994: Ján Svorada in Futuroscope and Roberto Conti on the Alpe d'Huez
- 1999: Ludo Dierckxsens in Saint-Étienne
- 2001: Ján Svorada in Paris
- 2002: Rubens Bertogliati in Luxembourg
- 2007: Daniele Bennati in Castelsarrasin and Paris
- 2010: Alessandro Petacchi in Brussels and Reims
- 2015: Rubén Plaza in Gap
- 2018: Dan Martin in Mûr-de-Bretagne and Alexander Kristoff in Paris
- 2020: Alexander Kristoff in Nice and Tadej Pogačar in Laruns, on the Grand Colombier and on La Planche des Belles Filles
Secondary classification wins: 6
- 1993: Djamolidine Abdoujaparov (points classification)
- 2006: Damiano Cunego (best young rider)
- 2010: Alessandro Petacchi (points classification)
- 2018: Dan Martin (most combative rider)
- 2020: Tadej Pogačar (mountains classification and best young rider)
Yellow jerseys: 5
- 2002: Rubens Bertogliati, two days
- 2020: Alexander Kristoff, one day, and Tadej Pogačar, two days
- 19 July 1994: Roberto Conti (sixth in the final GC) wins on the Alpe d'Huez with only three Lampre riders left in the race: Conti himself, sprinter Ján Svorada and domestique Marco Zen.
- 12 July 2018: Dan Martin takes the first Tour de France stage win for a team based in the Middle East with a powerful kick in Mûr-de-Bretagne.
- 19 September 2020: 21-year-old Tadej Pogačar turns the race on its head in the time trial to La Planche des Belles Filles, wresting the overall lead from fellow Slovenian Primož Roglič and claiming the Tour de France on his first try.
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