Registered Nation: United States
Star Riders: Christian Vande Velde David Miller, David Zabriskie, Bradley Wiggins
Title Sponsors: Garmin is a GPS manufacturer, and Slipstream Sports is a sports marketing and development company.
Team Garmin-Chipolte began as the UCI Continental Team TIAA-CREF. It was established in 2004 as a development team for young U.S. riders. Originally it consisted of both professional and amateur riders. In its current structure, Garmin-Slipstream was established at the beginning of 2007. The team's directeur sportif and general manager is former professional cyclist Jonathan Vaughters. In the 2007 season, the team mainly focused on the US domestic circuit with a satellite program in Europe to help younger riders acclimate to demands of European racing.
For 2008 the team signed high profile riders David Zabriskie, David Millar, Christian Vande Velde, Tom Danielson and former Paris- Roubaix winner, Magnus Bäckstedt. Due to their extensive anti-doping program the team was invited to many major races including Paris-Nice, Tour of Flanders, Ghent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix. They also received invitations to the 2008 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia. In the Giro d’Italia the team road brilliantly in the opening team time trial to put Christian Vande Velde in the pink jersey. Throughout their first grand tour the team was aggressive with David Millar almost winning stage five before a broken chain ended his chances. In June 2008 the team announced that GPS makes Garmin had taken over as title sponsor beginning at the 2008 Tour de France. In their first Tour de France the team rode well with Christain Vande Velde finishing fifth overall
For the 2009 Tour de France the team is looking for David Millar and David Zabriske to do well in the time trials and hoping Vande Velde can repeat his performance from last year. The team will be bolstered by young sprinter Tyler Farrar who has an impressive season, taking a stage win in Tirreno-Adriatico.
Registered Nation: Russia
Star Riders: Filippo Pozzato, Robbie McEwen Valimadir Karpets and Gert Steegmans.
Title Sponsors: A coalition of companies from Russia.
New to the ProTour, the Katusha team is built the on the foundation of the Tinkoff continental team that was started in the 2007. After two successful seasons in the European peloton the team received an influx of cash from a coalition of companies from Russia. With the influx of rubbles the team signed several top riders including Filippo Pozzato, Robbie McEwen Vladimir Karpets and Gert Steegmans.
For the 2009 Tour de France the team will looking for stage victories from Filippo Pozzato. Aside from stage wins the team will be looking to Vladimir Karpets to ride high in the general classification.Milram
Registered Nation: Germany
Star Riders: Linus Gerdmann, Gerald Ciolek
Title Sponsors: Milram is a brand of the Bremen based Nordmilch Company.
Milram was formed at the beginning of 2006 from the remains of the
Domina Vacanze team. The team was designed around star sprinters
Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel with a mix of German and Italian
support riders. Milram’s first year was rough with star sprinter Alessandro Petacchi
crashing and breaking his knee cap during the third stage of the Giro
d’Italia. Erik Zabel did his best to fill the void by winning the best
sprinter’s jersey at the Tour of Germany and second place at the world
championships in addition to two stages of the Vuelta a España.
In 2007 Alessandro Petacchi came back and won five stages of the Giro
d’Italia and Paris-Tours. The team suffered a major set back during the
2007 Giro d’Italia when Petacchi tested positive for the drug
salbutamol. Petacchi had a certificate to use salbutamol for the
treatment of asthma, but his level of salbutamol was above the UCI
limit. Petacchi was then absolved by the FCI when they deemed that
overuse of Salbutamol was simple human error. The Italian Olympic
Committee (CONI) argued that Petacchi should be suspended for the high
level of salbutamol and sent the case to the International Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS). On May 6, 2008 the Court of Arbitration
for Sport banned Petacchi until the end of August and as a result of
his suspension Team Milram fired Petacchi on May 16, 2008.
In 2008 Team Milram became a German registered team focused on the Tour
de France and the development of young riders. The 2008 season saw the
team only win ten races with eight of the victories coming from
Petacchi before his termination. For 2009 the Milram team under went a
major transformation, dumping its Italian contingent and signing Linus
Gerdemann and Gerald Ciolek away from Columbia-Highroad.Lampre
Registered Nation: Italy
Star Riders: Damiano Cunego, Alessandro Ballan
Title Sponsors: Lampre is an Italian manufacturer of prefinished steel sheet materials, Fondital designs and produces aluminum radiators.
Lampre first entered cycling in 1991 as co-sponsor of the
Colnago-Lampre team. They then took over as title sponsor in 1992. In
1993 Maurizion Fondriest, won Milan–Sanremo as well as the overall
World Cup. Lampre ended sponsorship at the end of 1995 even though the
team continued as smaller outfit under the name Ceramica
Lampre re-entered cycling in 1999, sponsoring the team with Daikin. The
Lampre-Daikin team found success with Giberto Simoni when he won the
2001 Giro d’ Italia. Simoni would leave the team in 2002 for Saeco.
Daikin remained a co-sponsor until the end of 2002. At the end of 2004,
Lampre merged with Saeco to meet the demands of the new ProTour. At the
end of the 2005 season Gilberto Simoni left the team for Saunier
Duval-Prodir. This left Damiano Cunego as undisputed leader.
In 2006 Fondital joined as co-sponsor of the Lampre team. The team was
renamed Lampre – Fondital. In the 2006 Tour de France Damiano Cunego
won the best young rider competition along with a stage win at the Giro
2007 brought victory in the Tour of Flanders courtesy of Alessandro Ballan, while Cunego won the Giro di Lombaradia. In 2008 team leader Damiano Cunego skipped the Giro d’Italia focused on
winning the overall classification for the Tour de France. Cunego was
unsuccessful, struggling in the mountains before suffering a horrible
crash on forcing him to abandon. For 2009 Cunego has is returning to
Giro d’Italia in the hopes of repeating his victory of 2004. With their
GC riders focused on the Giro, expect the Lampre team to be looking for
Registered Nation: Italy
Star Riders: Ivan Basso, Daniele Bennati, Vincenzo Nibali
Title Sponsors: Liquigas is a bottled gas distributor.
The Liguigas – Pata team first appeared in 1999 as a second division
team. In 2000 they moved up to Division one with the addition of Davide
Rebellin and several other strong Italian riders. The original team
disbanded at the end of the 2002 season.
The current team structure is rooted in the old Alessio team, and the
Bianchi team that was built around Jan Ullrich in 2003. When Ullrich
returned to the T-mobile at the end of the 2003 season Bianchi became
sponsor of the Alessio team. The team was then renamed Alessio –
Bianchi. During this time the team’s biggest victory came with Magnus
Magnus Bäckstedt’s win at the 2004 edition of Paris-Roubaix.
In the 2005 Liguigas took over as title sponsor and the team’s name was
again changed to Liguigas – Bianchi. 2005 saw Danilo Di Luca dominate
the early season winning Vuelta al País Vasco the Amstel Gold Race and
La Flèche Wallonne. This same year Di Luca also won a stage of the Giro
d’Italia and the overall ProTour title.
For 2007 Cannondale replaced Bianchi as the bicycle sponsor of the
team. This marked Cannondale's return to the ProTour after ending
sponsorship of the Lampre-Caffita team at the end of the 2005 season.
2007 saw Di Luca win the Giro d’Italia with dominating rides in the
mountains, but he was then implicated in the “oil for drugs” scandal
and as a result he was suspended for three months. Despite his win in
the Giro d'Italia his contract with Liguigas was not renewed. In 2007
the team welcomed the arrival of Filippo Pozzato to the team. The 2006
Milan–Sanremo champion was hired from Quick-Step to bolster the team’s
classics squad. Pozzato earned his keep with a strong classics season
and a win in the fifth stage of the Tour de France.
In 2008 Liguigas hired Daniele Bennti as the teams top sprinter for the
Tour de France, hoping to win the green jersey. However an Achilles
heel injury forced him out of the race. The team also made news in May
when they signed suspended rider Ivan Basso who not be able to return
to competition until October of that year. For 2009 the entire team
will be focused on Basso winning the Giro d’Italia.
Registered Nation: Netherlands
Star Riders: Denis Menchov, Oscar Freire
Title Sponsors: Rabobank is a Dutch bank.
The team was first founded in 1984 after the TI-Raleigh team split into
two teams due a feud between Jan Raas and its team leader Peter Post.
Post took seven TI-Raleigh riders and moved to the new Panasonic team.
The remaining riders followed Raas to the Kwantum team, whose team
leader at the time was Walter Godefroot. In its first year the Kwantum
team won one a stage in the 1984 Tour de France as well as the Amstel
Gold Race and the Dutch national title. At the end of 1984 Raas assumed
the role of team manager. In 1985 the Kwantum team won two Tour de
France stages, the Tour of Luxembourg, Paris-Tours, Paris Brussels,
Tirreno-Adriatico, and repeated their win in the Dutch National
championship. 1986 was less successful and Kwantum looked to decrease
its sponsorship involvement with the team.
For the 1987 season Superconfex took over as title sponsor. The team
was renamed Superconfex - Kwantum - Yoko - Colnago. Jan Raas continued
his role as team manager and 1987 saw the arrival of Jean-Paul van
Poppel who gave the team three stage wins the Tour de France and the
green jersey. In 1988 Kwantum withdrew as sponsor and the team was
again renamed Superconfex - Yoko - Opel - Colnago. 1988 was a hugely
successful season as they took victory at Paris-Brussels, Tour of
Belgium, the Amstel Gold Race, and six stages in the Tour de France. In
1999 the teams star sprinter Jean-Paul van Poppel defected and joined
rival Peter Post at the Panasonic team. Even without Jean-Paul van
Poppel, the team still managed victories in the Tour of Flanders and
Paris-Tours, and two stages in the 1989 Tour de France.
In 1990 Buckler took over as title sponsor. The Tour of Belgium was won
again, and the Ronde van Nederland was won as well. That year, the team
had the winner of the Dutch national road race championships again, as
Peter Winnen won the race. In 1991 The team pouched Steven Rooks from
Panasonic. Rooks would reward his new employer by winning the Dutch
national title. The team would also win the Amstel Gold Race and the
Tour of Flanders. The 1992 season was the team’s worst year with only
26 wins. The lack of results caused Buckler to end its sponsorship at
the end of the season.
In 1993 a new sponsor was found in Wordperfect. The team had bolstered
its ranks with star riders Steven Rooks and Raúl Alcalá. Despite the
new riders, 1993 was not considered successful as the team only
recorded 29 victories. In 1994, they signed Leon Van Bon and Michael
Boogerd in addition of Viatcheslav Ekimov and again the team struggled
and only recorded 25 victories.
In 1995, Novell Software took over as title sponsor and the team signed
sprinter Djamolidine Abdoujaparov. Abdoujaparov had won the green
jersey in the 1994 Tour de France and was considered to be one of the
fastest sprinters in the world. Abdoujaparov managed to only win one
stage in the Tour de France in 1995. At the end of 1995 Novell pulled
Rabobank signed in 1996 with Jan Raas still as team manager, while Theo
de Rooy, acted as Directeur sportif. With secure sponsorship the team
hired the top Dutch cyclists of the 1990s including Adrie van der Poel,
Erik Breukink, Leon van Bon, Erik Dekker and Michael Boogerd. In
addition the team also found success with riders Rolf Sorensen and
For 2002 they set about building a portion of the team for stage races.
The ream hired Levi Leipheimer to the lead the team at the Tour de
France. Leipheimer finished eighth in his first Tour de France but
crashed out of the race on the first stage of the 2003 Tour. Also in
2003 Jan Raas was removed from his position, which surprised the other
members of the staff as well as team riders. Theo De Rooy was promoted
to team manager and Erik Breukink moved into the role of Directeur
sportif. In 2004 Leipheimer again finished in the top ten by finishing
ninth overall. In 2005 Leipheimer switched to the Gerolsteiner team.
The same year saw Michael Rasmussen win the polka dot jersey in the
Tour de France and Denis Menchov win the Vuelta a Espana after Roberto
Heras failed a doping control. In 2006 Rasmussen again repeated his win
in the mountains classification of the Tour de France.
In the 2007 Tour de France, Rabobank appeared to finally win the
overall with Michael Rasmussen. Rasmussen had won the 2005 and 2006
mountains classification and in 2007 appeared to have discovered new
time trailing abilities. Unfortunately during the Tour it came to light
Rasmussen had lied about his whereabouts in the months leading up to
the Tour. Rasmussen was expelled from the Tour de France and later
fired from the Rabobank team. The team continued but was demoralized by
the event. In August 2007 in the aftermath of the affair in which
Michael Rasmussen’s was removed from the 2007 Tour de France, Theo De
Rooy resigned from his position as team manager.
Despite the problems of 2007 the Rabobank team was invited for the 2008
Tour de France. Team leader Denis Menchov decided to focus on the Tour
de France and rode the 2008 Giro d’Italia as preparation. In the 2008
race Menchov rode well but suffered his customary one bad day that
effectively ended his overall chances. Team sprinter Oscar Freire was
out classed by mark Cavendish on four occasions but won one stage and
took the Green jersey.Quick Step
Registered Nation: Belgium
Star Riders: Tom Boonen, Stijn Devolder, Sylvain Chavanel
Title Sponsors: Quick Step is a manufacturer of laminate flooring that
is available in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia.
The Quick Step is lead by team manager Patrick Lefevere. The sports
directors are Alvaro Crespi, Luca Guercilena, Serge Parsani, and
Wilfried Peeters The team was formed under the name Quick
Step-Davitamon in 2003 from the remains of the Mapei super team that
dominated the classics during the late 1990’s. The team’s first team
leader was Paolo Bettini who won the World Cup in 2003 and 2004.
In 2005, Innergetic joined as co-sponsor and the team was renamed Quick
Step-Innergetic. 2005 also saw the emergence of Tom Boonen as a true
classics star. Boonen won Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and the world
road race championships. That same year Filippo Pozzato won the HEW
Cyclassics, and Paolo Bettini the Giro di Lombardia. In 2006 Boonen
again won the Tour of Flanders and wore the yellow jersey in the Tour
de France. Paolo Bettini won the World Championship and retained his
Giro di Lombardia title.
The 2007 season saw Tom Boonen win two stages and the green sprinter
jersey in the Tour de France and Paolo Bettini repeat his win as world
In 2008 Tom Boonen tested positive for cocaine in an out of competition
test and was excluded from the Tour de France. The Team struggled
through the race with no team leader. Gert Steegmans saved the team’s
race on the last day my winning the final sprint on the Champs-Élysées
in Paris. For the 2009 Steegmans has left Quick Step for the Katusha
team and Tom Boonen returns as team leader. Although he only missed one
year, Boonen might find it difficult to reclaim his sprinting crown
going up against the likes of Mark Cavendish.Saxo Bank
Registered Nation: Denmark
Star Riders: Frank Schleck, Andy Schleck and Fabian Cancellara
Title Sponsors: Saxo Bank is a global investment bank specializing in online trading and investment across the international financial markets.
The team was assembled for the 1998 season under the name Team Home - Jack & Jones, and the first years as a team commenced with Alex Pedersen and Torben Kølbæk as sports directors. The team comprising a mix of first-time professionals along with seasoned veterans Brain Holm and Jesper Skibby. The main sponsors were a Danish real estate agency (home a/s), and a clothes manufacturer Jack & Jones. The team rode its first season in the 2nd division with Jesper Skibby picking up several wins for the team.
In 1999 the team moved up to the 1st Division. Home stopped sponsoring the team, at the end of the season citing doping in the sport as the reason. For the 2000 season, Memory Card a/s stepped in as co-sponsor and Danish cyclist Bo Hamburger was hired as team leader. 2000 was the first year the team was invited to the Tour de France. At the end of the 2000 season, Bjarne Riis took over Professional Cycling Denmark ApS and the team. After the 2000 season the contract with Jack & Jones ended, and Bjarne Riis severed ties with Memory Card due to their financial situation
In 2001 CSC Computer Sciences Corporation and the European Internet provider World Online took over as title sponsors. World online had just been bought by Italian telecom giant Tiscali and so the team changed to CSC-Tiscali mid season.
The team first gained prominence by signing Laurent Jalabert before the 2001 season. In 2002 the team also signed Tyler Hamilton away from the U.S. Postal Service and Hamilton went on to finish second in the Giro d’Italia despite a broken shoulder. The team also proved itself in the Tour de France, almost winning the team time trial, and Jalabert repeating his victory in the King of the Mountains competition. Jalabert retired in style at the end of the season by winning the Clásica de San Sebastián.
In 2003, Riis renamed Professional Cycling Denmark ApS to Riis Cycling A/S. Tiscali ended its sponsorship, and the team was renamed Team CSC. In 2003 Tyler Hamilton assumed leadership of the team by winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Going into the 2003 Tour Hamilton was considered one of the favorites for the general classification. Unfortunately he crashed on the first stage and suffered a broken collarbone. Despite his injuries he continued and finished fourth overall and won stage sixteen. CSC riders Carlos Sastre and Jakob Piil also won stages in the 2003 Tour de France.
In 2004 Hamilton moved to the Swiss Phonak team. To replace Hamilton the team hired Ivan Basso from the Fassa Bortolo squad as team leader for the grand tours. Basso had won the best young rider competition in the 2002 Tour de France. In 2004 with the help of his CSC team Basso finished third in the Tour de France.
In 2005 CSC announced it was extending their sponsorship through 2008. This allowed Riis to renew the contract with Basso for an additional three years. Basso’s second place finish in the Tour, to a retiring Lance Armstrong, renewed the faith that Riis had once held in Basso’s racing strength. In the 2005 season the cycling community also saw the emergence of David Zabriskie's as one of the best time trial riders in the world. In 2005 Zabriske won a time trial stage in the Giro d’Italia and the prologue of the Tour de France.
In 2006 CSC ambitiously set out to win all three grand tours with team leaders Ivan Basso and Carlos Sastre. Ivan Basso won the Giro d’Italia in dominating fashion but on the eve of the Tour de France it was announced that Ivan Basso would not be riding in the 2006 Tour de France as a result of his alleged involvement in the Operación Puerto. Despite the loss of Basso the team won two stages, including Fränk Schleck's win on Alpe d’Huez. Ivan Basso and Team CSC parted ways shortly after the Tour de France.
2007 the team shifted its focus from grand tours to getting results throughout the season. Stuart O'Grady won Paris-Roubaix, Andy Schleck rode to second place in the Giro and Jens Voigt defended his Tour of Germany title. Even with this more rounded focus the team had a very successful Tour de France with Fabian Cancellara winning the Prologue, and securing a victory in stage three. He also wore the yellow jersey for seven days straight. Carlos Sastre rode well in the mountains to finish fourth overall.
In 2008 the team dominated the race, first putting Frank Schleck in the yellow jersey, before Carlos Sastre took over with an incredible ride on Alpe d'Huez to win the Tour overall. Frank Shleck rode well finishing sixth overall and wearing the yellow jersey. Andy Schleck rode effortlessly around France to take the best young rider competition.
In 2009 the team has lost Carlos Sastre to the new Cervélo team and will rely on Andy and Frank Schleck. Andy won Leige-Bastogne-Leige and despite only being 24 has a good chance of winning the Tour outright.
Skil Shimano (Continental Pro)
Registered Nation: Netherlands
Star Riders: Fumiyuki Beppu, Theo Eltink
Title Sponsors: Skil is a manufacturer of small power tools. Shimano is a maker of bicycle components.
The Skil Shimano team is the second team from the Netherlands
registered for this year’s Tour de France. Despite being registered in
the Netherlands the team has a strong Japanese contingent due their
sponsorship by Shimano.
The selection of the Skil Shimano team is a bit of surprise as the team
has no riders that can content for any of the major competitions. The
team that has been in existence since 2005 and has mainly focused
classics. Skil originally sponsored the Skil-Sem team in 1984 and 1985.
With the lack of a General Classification rider, climber or pure
sprinter, look for the Skil Shimano team to be looking for breakaways
and the maximizing their TV exposure.
Registered Nation: Belgium
Star Riders: Cadel Evans
Title Sponsors: the Belgian Lottery and Omega Pharma sponsor Silence-Lotto through their Silence brand and previously through their Predictor and Davitamon brands.
Lotto has a long history of cycling sponsorship. It first appeared as title sponsor in 1985. For the majority of the team’s history it has been primarily a classics team, with a focus on the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. The teams the biggest victory came in the 1994 edition of Paris-Roubaix when Andrei Tchmil won in horrific conditions. Tchmil remained the cornerstone of the team until his retirement in 2002. While at Lotto he won Paris-Tours in 1997, Milano-Sanremo in 1999 as well as the overall world cup. In 2000 he out powered Johann Museeuw to win the Tour of Flanders for his final classics victory.
In 2002 the team began to shift focus and hired sprinter Robbie McEwen to increase their presents in the Grand Tours. McEwen proved his worth by winning the green jersey in his first year with the team. He would repeat this feat in 2004 and 2006. In 2003 the Lotto-Adecco and Domo-Farm Frites teams merged creating the current team structure under the name of Lotto-Domo. The Omega Pharma had co-sponsored in Quick Step-Davitamon in 2003 and 2004 but switched to sponsor the Lotto team in 2005. The team was renamed to Davitamon-Lotto. 2005 also saw a major shift in team strategy with the arrival of Cadel Evans. In his first Tour de France, Evans rode to an impressive eighth place. In 2006 he rose up to finish fourth in the Tour. In 2007 the teams name was again changed to Predictor-Lotto to promote the company’s line of pregnancy tests. 2007 also saw Cadel Evans become a true contender at the Tour de France, winning a time trial stage and finishing second overall by a mere 23 seconds.
In 2008 Evans started the Tour as the favorite due the absences of the Astana team and Alberto Contador. Evans rode well, putting himself in the yellow jersey. However lack of team support, nerves and a dominating performance by the CSC-Saxo Bank team left Evans open for attack. He was unable to match Carlos Sastre on Alpe d’Huez and though he limited his loses to give himself on last chance in the final time trial it wasn’t enough. For 2009 the team is committed to helping Cadel Evans win the Tour de France. Anything else is going to be a disappointment.