EF EDUCATION - EASYPOST
The team formerly known as Garmin made its Tour de France debut fourteen years ago in Brest. It is living proof that financial clout and programming are not the be-all and end-all of modern cycling. Although it has one of the smallest budgets in the division and often has to contend with 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 who rose from the ashes following a salutary break.
Christian Vande Velde's fourth place in Paris in 2008 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 wretched performance in 2012, when it was involved in a mass crash in Lorraine. In 2014, after winning the Critérium du Dauphiné, the American pit bull was forced to quit the Tour with a heavy heart and a battered body, but the team staged an emotional comeback with Ramūnas Navardauskas's victory in Bergerac.
The outfit from Boulder, Colorado, then entered a barren spell that would last until Urán's bike thrust won 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. The team was then stuck in the doldrums for several editions, as a conservative Urán settled for seventh in 2019. In 2018, the American squad was the talk of the town when Lawson Craddock became the first ever rider to rank dead last in the general classification from the very start of the race to the end. After cracking his shoulder blade in a crash on the opening stage he soldiered on all the way to Paris. The 2020 Tour de France was buzzing with excitement over the debut of rising star Sergio Higuita, but it was fellow Colombian Daniel Martínez who stole the show with his victory on Puy Mary. Last year, with a third-place finish, Higuita was not far from a stage win in Quillan. He enjoyed a better finish to the Tour (with eighth place on the Col du Portet pass and seventh at Luz Ardiden) than Rigoberto Urán, who dropped from second place in the general classification on the evening of the Mont Ventoux stage to tenth in Paris. However, at the age of 35 years, the Colombian remains the spearhead of the American team.
- Final victory0
- Stages victories9
- Yellows Jerseys7
- Other race Won0
Overall wins: 0
Podium finishes: 1
- 2017: Rigoberto Urán, second
Stage wins: 9
- 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
- 2020: Daniel Martínez on Puy Mary
Secondary classification wins: 1
- 2011: team classification
Yellow Jerseys: 7
- 2011: Thor Hushovd, seven days
2: the highest place in the general classification of the Tour de France attained 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's team goes toe to toe with the Astana powerhouse in a prelude to Bradley Wiggins's 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 living embodiment of the team's anti-doping policy, achieves his ultimate redemption by reacquainting himself with success on the Tour in Annonay Davézieux.
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