Mapei (cycling team)

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Mapei
Bettini Placci 2001.jpg
Paolo Bettini in a Mapei jersey in 2001
Team information
UCI codeMAP
RegisteredItaly (1993-1997)
Belgium (1998-2002)
Founded1993 (1993)
Disbanded2002 (2002)
DisciplineRoad
BicyclesViner (1993)
Colnago (1994-2002)
Key personnel
Team manager(s)Giuseppe Saronni (1997-1998)
Patrick Lefevere (1999-2000)
Alvaro Crespi (2000-2002)
Team name history
1993
1994
1995-1997
1998
1999–2002
Mapei
Mapei-Clas
Mapei-GB
Mapei-Bricobi
Mapei-Quick Step

Mapei was an Italian-based road bicycle racing team active from 1993 to 2002, named after sponsoring firm Mapei. From 2003 Mapei dropped their sponsorship, and a new team was built on top of the old with the name of Quick Step-Davitamon.

Mapei was one of the strongest teams during the late 1990s, and ranked as the strongest UCI team in 1994-2000 and 2002.

The team had the great Belgian and Italian classic specialists of the 1990s such as Johan Museeuw, Michele Bartoli, Andrea Tafi, Franco Ballerini, and had Patrick Lefevre as directeur sportif and then manager. The team won Paris–Roubaix five times. Three times (1996,[1] 1998[2] and 1999[3]) the team even won the first three places. In the 1996 edition, the sprint for the line was decided 15 km from the finish. Directeur sportif Patrick Lefevere, who was following the race in the team car, talked with the owner of Mapei, Giorgio Squinzi (in Milan), who said that Museeuw was to win the race. Gianluca Bortolami was second while Andrea Tafi was third.[1] In 1998 Franco Ballerini won the race with over four minutes ahead of his two teammates Tafi and Wilfried Peeters.[2] and in 1999 Tafi won with an advantage of two minutes over teammates Peeters and Tom Steels. In the summer of 2000, Lefevre announced that the Belgian part of the Mapei team would be leaving the team to form a new team called Domo-Farm Frites which had Museeuw as team captain. As a result, there was a great rivalry between the two teams.[4]

Mapei was less dominating in the Grand Tours. The only true stage race specialist was Tony Rominger, who won the 1994 Vuelta a España and the 1995 Giro d'Italia for the team. As Rominger focused on the Tour de France in 1996, Abraham Olano was given the leadership role at the Giro d'Italia in 1996. Olano took the maglia rosa but lost it in the mountains and during the Tour, Rominger lost time in the mountains. The team never played a major role in the Tour de France.

The official names of the team changed with the cosponsors several times. The team has run under the following names: Mapei (1993) Mapei-Clas (1994), Mapei-GB (1995–1997), Mapei-Bricobi (1998), Mapei-Quickstep (1999–2002).

History[edit]

While started in 1993 (taking the Eldor-Viner team midseason), the Mapei team already became an international top team one year later when it merged with the Spanish Clas-Cajastur for the 1994 season. Clas had been a cycling sponsor since the 1988 Clas-Razesa team, led by José Manuel Fuente Lavandera. Among the Clas-riders who joined the Italian Mapei team were Fernando Escartín, Abraham Olano and, most prominently, Swiss top rider Tony Rominger. Other newly signed riders included Franco Ballerini, Gianluca Bortolami, Andrea Tafi and Mauro Gianetti, forming a Spanish-Italian top team with two strong Swiss riders as well.

Already in 1995, Clas stopped sponsoring, being replaced by GB. GB had previously sponsored the Italian MG-Maglificio team, which has had success in the early nineties in part due to a Flemish influence. Along with the new sponsor came team manager Patrick Lefevere and top rider Johan Museeuw, marking the beginning of the Belgian influence of the successful Mapei team in the following years, although the team would always have some strong Spanish riders. Another new rider in 1995 was Frank Vandenbroucke, who joined from the Lotto team.

In the remainder of the 1990s Mapei would celebrate many major successes, usually in the one-day classics.

The Mapei Cycling team was disbanded though. The decision was announced in May. The major factor was humiliation and anger over a drugging case, one more of those scandals that continue to undermine bicycle racing.

Major wins[edit]

World and national champions[edit]

1994
MaillotEspaña.PNG Spain National Road Race championships, Abraham Olano
MaillotEspaña.PNG Spain National Time Trial championships, Abraham Olano
1995
Jersey rainbow.svg World Road Race championships, Abraham Olano
1996
MaillotEspaña.PNG Spain National Road Race championships, Manuel Fernandez
MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgium National Road Race championships, Johan Museeuw
Jersey rainbow.svgWorld Road Race championships, Johan Museeuw
1997
MaillotItalia.svg Italy National Road Race championships, Gianni Faresin
MaillotSuiza.PNG Switzerland National Road Race championships, Oscar Camenzind
MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgium National Road Race championships, Tom Steels
1998
MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgium National road Race championships, Tom Steels
MaillotItalia.svg Italy National road Race championships, Andrea Tafi
MaillotRepúblicaCheca.PNG Czech Republic National Road Race championships, Jan Svorada
Jersey rainbow.svg World Road Race championships, Oscar Camenzind
2000
MaillotItalia.svgItaly National Road Race championships, Michele Bartoli
MaillotHungary.png Hungary National Road Race championships, László Bodrogi
MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgium National Road Race championships, Axel Merckx
MaillotUSA.PNG USA National Road Race championships, Fred Rodriguez
MaillotHungary.png Hungary National Time Trial championships, László Bodrogi
2001
MaillotItalia.svg Italy National Road Race championships, Daniele Nardello
MaillotHungary.png Hungary National Time Trial championships, László Bodrogi
Jersey rainbow.svg World Road Race championships, Óscar Freire
2002
MaillotBélgica.PNG Belgium National Road Race championships, Tom Steels
MaillotHungary.png Hungary National Time Trial championships, László Bodrogi
MaillotSuiza.PNG Switzerland National Time Trial championships, Fabian Cancellara

UCI Ranking[edit]

Season Rank
1993 21
1994 1
1995 1
1996 1
1997 1
1998 1
1999 1
2000 1
2001 4
2002 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Paris-Roubaix 1996". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  2. ^ a b "96th Paris-Roubaix, World Cup Round 3". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  3. ^ "97th Paris-Roubaix, World Cup Round 3". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  4. ^ "Domo-nation". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-04-14.