|Alberto CONTADOR||Ivan BASSO||Peter SAGAN||Daniele BENNATI||Matteo Tosatto||Roman KREUZIGER||Michael Valgren ANDERSEN||Rafal MAJKA||Michael ROGERS|
The Russian team, which started as a Danish squad in 1996 under the name Home-Jack & Jones, taken over in 2000 by Bjarne Riis and sponsored successively by Memory Card, Tiscali, CSC and Saxo Bank, holds the longest roll of honour on the Tour de France out of the teams active in the 21st century. In fifteen participations, it boasts two general classification victories (thanks to Carlos Sastre and Andy Schleck) as well as three other places on the podium (twice by Ivan Basso and once by Andy Schleck… but not yet by Alberto Contador, despite his fifth season with the team!), twenty two stage victories (without competing in the bunch sprints), twelve secondary classification and 36 days in the Yellow Jersey!
From the renaissance of Laurent Jalabert for an end to his career marked by two Polka Dot Jerseys, to the last stand by Alberto Contador on the roads of Alp-d’Huez in 2011 and the stab in the gutter on the way to Saint-Amand-Montrond in 2013, over a decade or more the team has swung between controversy and accomplishments, between knocks and misfortune: the victory by Tyler Hamilton with a broken shoulder in Bayonne (in 2003); the fall of David Zabriskie with the Yellow Jersey on his back at the end of the team time-trial at Blois (2005); the exclusion of its leader Ivan Basso before the start of Le Tour in 2006 and its recovery in the Alps via the victories of Jens Voigt and Fränk Schleck; the disgrace of Bjarne Riis following his admission to doping, offset by the performances of Fabian Cancellara in London and Compiègne (2007); the triumph in 2008 thanks to a team devoted to Carlos Sastre against the favourite Cadel Evans, whilst sacrificing the Yellow Jersey of Fränk Schleck; the blooming of Andy Schleck in 2009 and 2010, but too late to prevent him from leaving the team.
Last year, for the first time in his career, Contador withdrew from the race after a fall. Without him, the team managed to recover, with the revelation of Rafal Majka, its climber, and by pulling Michael Rogers out of its hat… On the Tour de France, the last thing that could be said about Bjarne Riis’ team is that it is boring! However, the team now belongs to Oleg Tinkoff, the exuberant Russian millionaire who bought the team and then removed its famous Danish manager. The Giro-Tour double is the major challenge this year for Alberto Contador and his explosive entourage which now includes the three times winner of the Green Jersey Peter Sagan.
GC victories: 2
- 2008: Carlos Sastre
- 2010: Andy Schleck
Stage victories: 22
- 2001: Laurent Jalabert at Verdun and at Colmar
- 2003: Jakob Piil at Marseilles; Carlos Sastre at Ax-3 Domaines; Tyler Hamilton at Bayonne
- 2004: Ivan Basso at La Mongie
- 2005: David Zabriskie at Noirmoutier-en-l’île
- 2006: Jens Voigt at Montélimar; Fränk Schleck at Alpe-d’Huez
- 2007: Fabian Cancellara in London and at Compiègne
- 2008: Kurt-Asle Arvesen at Foix; Carlos Sastre at Alpe-d’Huez
- 2009: Fabian Cancellara at Monaco; Nicki Sørensen at Vittel; Fränk Schleck at Le Grand-Bornand
- 2010: Fabian Cancellara at Rotterdam and Pauillac; Andy Schleck at Avoriaz and Col du Tourmalet
- 2014: Rafal Majka at Risoul and Saint-Lary-Soulan; Michael Rogers at Bagnères-de-Luchon
Victories in secondary classifications: 12
- 2001: Laurent Jalabert (Polka Dot Jersey and most combative rider)
- 2002: Laurent Jalabert (Polka Dot Jersey and most combative rider)
- 2003: Team classification
- 2008: Andy Schleck (best young rider); team classification
- 2009: Andy Schleck (best young rider)
- 2010: Andy Schleck (best young rider)
- 2012: Chris Anker Sørensen (most combative rider)
- 2013: Team classification
- 2014: Rafal Majka (Polka Dot Jersey)
Yellow Jerseys: 36
- 2005: David Zabriskie, three days; Jens Voigt, one day
- 2007: Fabian Cancellara, seven days
- 2008: Fränk Schleck, two days; Carlos Sastre, five days
- 2009: Fabian Cancellara, six days
- 2010: Fabian Cancellara, six days; Andy Schleck, six days
22: the number of stage victories during fifteen participations, including only one in a sprint finish (by Fabian Cancellara in 2007 at Compiègne).
7th July 2001: the renaissance of Laurent Jalabert at Verdun, after his transfer from ONCE, marks the start of Bjarne Riis’ time as a team manager on the Tour de France.
23rd July 2008: Riis orders Carlos Sastre to attack on the climb up to Alpe-d’Huez, designating his first winner of Le Tour, at a point where Fränk Schleck was wearing the Yellow Jersey.
19th July 2010: due to a mechanical incident, Andy Schleck loses the Tour de France to Alberto Contador with whom Riis is in close contact to replace the native of Luxembourg (however, he went on to receive the title almost two years later after the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to confirm the disqualification of Contador).