EF PRO CYCLING
The former Garmin team, which made its Tour debut twelve years ago in Brest, is proof that financial clout and programming are not the be-all and end-all of modern cycling. Despite working with one of the smallest budgets in the division and the uncertainties clouding its future, it managed to place Rigoberto Urán on the second step of the podium in 2017. Pink-clad Education First has since picked up the baton with Cannondale's support. The origin story of this American team lies in the anti-doping philosophy championed by manager Jonathan Vaughters and David Millar, a rider reborn following a salutary break.
Christian Vande Velde's fourth place in Paris in 2018 heralded another three unexpected top 10 finishes: Bradley Wiggins, fourth in 2009, Ryder Hesjedal, seventh in 2010 and Tom Danielson, ninth in 2011. Andrew Talansky's tenth place in 2013 put the team back on track after a hapless 2012 edition, when it was involved in a mass crash in Lorraine. One year after winning the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2014, the American was forced to quit the Tour with a heavy heart and a battered body, but the team staged a remarkable comeback to win a thrilling victory in Bergerac with Ramūnas Navardauskas.
The team from Boulder, Colorado, then entered a dry spell that lasted until Urán's bike thrust carried the day in Chambéry in 2017. In 2015, Talansky finished eleventh overall and second in Pra-Loup, Dan Martin was second in Mûr-de-Bretagne and Cauterets, and Hesjedal finished third on the Alpe d'Huez. Success has evaded the team in the last two editions, as a conservative Urán settled for seventh in 2019. In 2018, the American outfit was the talk of the town when Lawson Craddock became the first ever rider to rank dead last in the general classification from the first stage to the last. Even cracking his shoulder blade in a crash during the opening stage failed to stop him from soldiering on to Paris. The Tour de France debut of rising star and Colombian champion Sergio Higuita has aroused a great deal of expectation.
- Final victory0
- Stages victories8
- Yellows Jerseys7
- Other race Won1
Stage wins: 8
- 2011: team time trial in Les Essarts, Tyler Farrar in Redon and Thor Hushovd in Lourdes and Gap
- 2012: David Millar in Annonay-Davézieux
- 2013: Dan Martin in Bagnères-de-Bigorre
- 2014: Ramūnas Navardauskas in Bergerac
- 2017: Rigoberto Urán in Chambéry
Secondary classification wins: 1
- 2011: team classification
Yellow jerseys: 7
- 2011: Thor Hushovd, seven days
A FIGURE 2:
the highest place in the general classification of the Tour de France achieved by Jonathan Vaughters' men so far: Rigoberto Urán in 2017, building on the fourth-place finishes of Christian Vande Velde in 2008 and Bradley Wiggins in 2009.
7 July 2009: in the team time trial, its speciality, Jonathan Vaughters' team goes head to head with the Astana powerhouse in a prelude to Bradley Wiggins' fourth place in the final classification.
4 July 2011: the day after his dream of winning the team time trial comes true, Vaughters savours the triumph of his home-grown sprinter Tyler Farrar in Redon as well as Thor Hushovd's yellow jersey.
13 July 2012: David Millar, the embodiment of the team's anti-doping policy, achieves his ultimate redemption by reacquainting himself with success at the Tour in Annonay Davézieux
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