Andrea Tafi (cyclist)

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Andrea Tafi
Andréa TAFI.jpg
Personal information
Full name Andrea Tafi
Nickname Il Gladiatore
Born (1966-05-07) May 7, 1966 (age 48)
Fucecchio, Italy
Team information
Current team Retired
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type Classics specialist
Professional team(s)
1989
1990-1991
1992-1993
1994-2002
2003
2004
2005
Eurocar
Selle Italia
Carrera Jeans-Vagabond
Mapei-CLAS
Team CSC
Alessio-Bianchi
Saunier Duval-Prodir
Major wins

One-day races and Classics

National Road Race Championship
(1998)
Giro di Lombardia (1996)
Paris–Roubaix (1999)
Tour of Flanders (2002)
GP de Fourmies (1994, 1997)
Paris-Bruxelles (1996)
Wincanton Classic (1997)
Giro del Piemonte (1999)
Paris-Tours (2000)
Infobox last updated on
January 1, 2007

Andrea Tafi (born 7 May 1966 in Fucecchio) is an Italian former road bicycle racer who retired from his professional career in 2005. Tafi's propensity to perform best in the harder races earned him the nickname Il Gladiatore (The Gladiator).[1]

He specialized in the cobbled Spring Classics such as Paris–Roubaix which he won in 1999, and Tour of Flanders which he won in 2002. He won the Giro di Lombardia in 1996 and the Italian National Championship in 1998.[2]

He said that his dream was to emulate his cycling hero fellow Italian Francesco Moser, which is to win Paris–Roubaix wearing the Tricolore jersey as the Italian National Champion. He accomplished this in his win in 1999.[3]

His name was on the list of doping tests published by the French Senate in 24 July 2013 that were collected during the 1998 Tour de France and found positive for EPO when retested in 2004.[4]

Career[edit]

The most successful part of his career was spent with the Italian super-squad Mapei-CLAS. In the 1996 edition of Paris–Roubaix the team put four of their riders in a breakaway at the front of the race: Johan Museeuw, Gianluca Bortolami, previous year's winner Franco Ballerini, and Tafi. Ballerini had a flat and was out of the lead group, but the other three powered their way to the finish.

In 1996 he won the "race of the falling leaves" Giro di Lombardia, using his strength to overcome the climbs of the race. He won Paris–Tours in a long breakaway effort in 2000, foiling the sprinters' teams. After a few lacklustre years, he again shone in the 2002 edition of the hilly, cobbled classic Tour of Flanders. Having established himself in a front breakaway with the likes of Johan Museeuw, Peter van Petegem and teammate Daniele Nardello, he made attacks after attacks, finally taking advantage of a moment's hesitation between the two home favorites Museeuw and van Petegem to solo to the finish for the win.

After Mapei[edit]

After the demise of the Mapei super-team, he moved to the reformed Team CSC under Bjarne Riis for the 2002-2003 seasons. His time with team Alessio-Bianchi in 2004 also didn't re-ignite his performance. He finally moved to the new Saunier Duval-Prodir team for his last season in 2005.

Significant wins[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Andrea Tafi, il Gladiatore" (in italian). museociclismo.it. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Italian National Road Championships - CN". autobus.cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Andrea Tafi wins Paris - Roubaix 1999". cyclingfever.com. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "French Senate releases positive EPO cases from 1998 Tour de France". 

External links[edit]