The last Italian World Tour team is now riding under Arab colours, ensured by financing from the Persian Gulf: the United Arab Emirates and the Dubai airline Fly Emirates. This has been one of the classic names in international cycling over the past decades, and will participate in the Vuelta for the 22th time, since debuting in 1990. Throughout its long history, the squad has accumulated an impressive 25 partial triumphs, starting their victory tally with a bang in 1993, with a win by Ukrainian rider Sergei Outschakov and three wins by Uzbekistan sprinter Djamolidine Abdoujaparov. With its return in 1999, they put the then unknown African cycling on the map, with Robert Hunter’s historic success in Benidorm. From that year on, they continued to obtain victories with such varied, well-known riders as Gilberto Simoni and Mariano Piccoli (2000), Juanma Gárate (2001), Daniele Bennati (2007), Damiano Cunego (2009), Alessandro Petacchi (2010), Francesco Gavazzi (2011), Winner Anacona and Przemislay Niemec (2014), Nelson Oliveira and Rubén Plaza (2015), Valerio Conti (2016) and Matej Mohoric, who won the stage that ended in Cuenca in 2017. The eighth place obtained by Paolo Tiralongo in 2009 continues to be the team’s best position ever obtained in a general classification. This year, the Asian team has enlisted a rider who knows what it is to stand at the very top of the La Vuelta podium: Fabio Aru. The Italian, winner of the 2015 edition, left Astana to join the Emirate team for three years, where he remains the undisputed leader for the general classification in the grand tours.
Overall victories: 0
Stage victories: 25
1993: Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, in Valencia, Zaragoza and in Ferrol.
1993: Sergei Ouchakov, in Gijón.
1999: Robert Hunter, in Benidorm.
2000: Mariano Piccoli, in Santander and in Ávila.
2000: Gilberto Simoni, in the Alto de l’Angliru.
2001: Juan Manuel Gárate, in Vinarós.
2001: Robert Hunter, in Albacete.
2001: Gilberto Simoni, in the Alto de Abantos.
2007: Daniele Bennati, in Vigo, in Talavera de la Reina and in Madrid.
2008: Alessandro Ballan, in La Rabassa. Naturlandia.
2009: Damiano Cunego, in the Alto de Aitana y and at the top of the Sierra de la Pandera.
2010: Alessandro Petacchi, in Orihuela.
2011: Francesco Gavazzi, in Noja.
2014: Winner Anacona, in Aramón Valdelinares.
2014: Przemysalw Niemiec, in Lagos de Covadonga.
2015: Nelson Oliveira, in Tarazona.
2015: Rubén Plaza, in Cercedilla.
2016: Valerio Conti, in Urdax Dantxarinea.
2017: Matej Mohoric, in Cuenca.
Leader jersey: 2
2007: Daniele Bennati, 1 day.
2008: Alessandro Ballan, 1 day.
Victories in secondary classifications: 1
2007: Daniele Bennati (points).
21: Participations of the team in La Vuelta.
May 15th, 1993: Djamolidine Abdoujaparov "The Terror of Tashkent" wins three stages of La Vuelta in that edition, for a total of seven in his whole career.
September 5th, 1999: A year after the team came back to La Vuelta, Robert Hunter takes the stage win in Benidorm.
September 12th, 2015: Having already won a stage in the Tour de France that same year, Rubén Plaza wins in Cercedilla after 100 km in a solo break.
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