UAE TEAM EMIRATES
United Arab 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 on 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 on the Tour in 1993, when the Uzbek sprinter Djamolidine Abdoujaparov had his most successful Tour de France ever, with three stages and victory in 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, placing their hopes in another sprinter, Czech Ján Svorada, who won Tour stages in both periods of the team’s existence (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 has 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 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 then floundered in 2019 as Fabio Aru and Dan Martin respectively finished fourteenth and eighteenth overall. 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 finishing on 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! It was not to be a one-off victory. The first Slovenian in yellow in Paris did it again in 2021, dominating the race from the time-trial in Laval (on stage 5), wearing the leader's jersey for fourteen days and finishing 5'20" ahead of runner-up Jonas Vingegaard. His stranglehold on racing triumphs has also extended to the whole of world cycling, as he has also won two of the monuments of cycling, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia.
- Final victories2
- Stages victories22
- Yellows Jerseys19
- Other race Won0
Overall wins: 2
- 2020, 2021: Tadej Pogačar
Podium finishes: 1
- 2002: Raimondas Rumšas, third
Stage wins: 22
- 1993: Djamolidine Abdoujaparov in Vannes, Bordeaux and Paris
- 1994: Ján Svorada at 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
- 2021: Tadej Pogačar in Laval, Saint-Lary-Soulan / Col de Portet and Luz Ardiden
Secondary classification wins: 8
- 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)
- 2021: Tadej Pogačar (mountains classification and best young rider)
Yellow Jerseys: 19
- 2002: Rubens Bertogliati, two days
- 2020: Alexander Kristoff, one day, and Tadej Pogačar, two days
- 2021: Tadej Pogačar, fourteen days
2: Tadej Pogačar's victories in the final general classification of the Tour de France at the age of only 22 years.
19 July 1994: Roberto Conti (sixth in the final general classification) 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, taking the overall lead from fellow Slovenian Primož Roglič and claiming the Tour de France on his first try.
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