Kas (cycling team)
The Kas–Kaskol team at the 1964 Tour de France
|Team name history|
Kas was a Spanish-based professional cycling team which was active from 1958 until 1979 and again for three years in the 1980s. Its name was derived from the name of the principal sponsor of the team, the soft drinks manufacturer, Kas. The team was principally based in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Its riders typically wore a jersey that consisted of yellow and blue.
The Kas team began operating in 1958, and in that year one of its riders, Fausto Izan, won a stage in the Vuelta a España. In 1959 the team signed the 1958 Spanish champion, Federico Bahamontes, who at that time had won two King of the Mountains classifications in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. The Tour de France was disputed by national teams and Bahamontes won the Tour in 1959. Bahamontes left in 1960 but the team won the King of the Mountains in the 1960, 1961 and 1962 Vuelta a España with Antonio Karmay Mestre.
Julio Jiménez again won the King of the Mountains in the 1964 and 1965 Vuelta a España. Kas-Kaskol dominated the 1966 Vuelta with Francisco Gabica winning, Eusebio Velez Mendizabal second and Carlos Echeverría third. It also dominated the King of the Mountains competition with Gregorio San Miguel winning. The team won six stages and held the yellow jersey for 14 of the 18 stages.
Kas won the team prize in the 1967 and 1968 Vuelta. In 1971 the team signed the best new professional of the 1970 Vuelta, José Manuel Fuente. Fuente won the mountains classification in the 1971 Giro d'Italia and then won the Vuelta in 1972. A Kas teammate, Miguel Maria Lasa, was second and four other Kas riders placed in the top ten. The team won the mountains, points, and combination classifications and the team prize. It wore the yellow jersey for 17 of the 18 stages .
Fuente and his team went to the 1972 Giro d'Italia where Fuente took the maglia rosa and the race became a battle between him and Eddy Merckx in the mountains in which Merckx prevailed.
Fuente won the 1974 Vuelta, the third rider to win two editions of the race. Fuente led from the 10th stage but fell and then lost more time in the final time trial. He won by 11 seconds. Kas again won the team prize.
The following year Kas won the mountains, points and team classifications as well as holding the yellow jersey for 19 stages until the final time trial, when Agustín Tamames took it and left the Kas teammates Domingo Perurena and Miguel María Lasa on the lower steps of the podium. Fuente abandoned the race with problems which led to the end of his career.
Kas won the Vuelta again in 1976 with José Pesarrodona and the mountains competition with Andrés Oliva. It won the team prize in the 1978 and 1979 Vuelta. In 1979 many Belgian riders joined and the chief directeur sportif was the Belgian Robert Lelangue. 1976 Tour de France winner Lucien Van Impe won a stage for the team in the 1979 Tour de France  The sponsor then retired from the peloton.
1980s Kas team
In 1985 Kas returned as a co-sponsor of the French-based Skil-Sem team run by French directeur sportif Jean de Gribaldy. The following year Kas took over as title sponsor from Skil and the Kas jersey returned but the team remained French-based. However, the team rode more Spanish races to satisfy the new sponsor. In 1986, Sean Kelly improved on his ninth place in the 1985 Vuelta a España by coming third, winning the points jersey at the Vuelta for the third time. Kelly also won the Tour of the Basque Country and the Volta a Catalunya.
The team had further success in 1986 with Kelly, who was the World's number 1 rider during this period, winning 'monument' classics Milan–San Remo and Paris–Roubaix, with Acacio Da Silva who won the Züri-Metzgete, and with the Swiss cyclo-cross champion, Pascal Richard.
In January 1987 de Gribaldy died in a car crash. After that the team became Spanish-based. In the 1987 Vuelta a España, Kelly led with three days to go when he had to withdraw due to injury. He won the event in 1988, Kas' last win in the Vuelta. After 1988 the team stopped as the team owner died in 1988 and Kas retired from sponsorship.
- "Kas-Kaskol (Esp)". Memoire du cyclisme. Archived from the original on 2007-07-16. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- "Kas-Boxing Club 1958". de wielersite.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "KAS 1959". de wielersite.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "1966 General Information". La Vuelta.com. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "1972 General Information". La Vuelta.com. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "1974 General Information". La Vuelta.com. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "1975 General Information". La Vuelta.com. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "Kas-Campagnolo 1979". de wielersite.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
- Walsh, David (1991). Kelly: A biography. Springfield Books. ISBN 978-1-85688-024-4.
- "KAS 1986". de wielersite.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "Viva la Vuelta". Sport and Publicity.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
- "KAS 1980". de wielersite.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "KAS 1993". de wielersite.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- "KAS 1994". de wielersite.nl. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
Media related to Kas (cycling team) at Wikimedia Commons