Rein Taaramäe

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Rein Taaramäe
Rein Taaramäe - Critérium du Dauphiné 2012 - Prologue (cropped).jpg
Taaramäe at the 2012 Critérium du Dauphiné
Personal information
Full nameRein Taaramäe
NicknameVader (from "Reinuvader Rebane" – a literary fox), Taarakas
Born (1987-04-24) April 24, 1987 (age 34)
Tartu, Estonia
Height1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Weight67 kg (148 lb; 10.6 st)[1]
Team information
Current teamIntermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux
Amateur teams
2006–2007Roue d'or Saint-Amandoise
2007Cofidis (stagiaire)
Professional teams
2016–2017Team Katusha
2018–2020Direct Énergie[2][3]
2021–Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux
Major wins
Grand Tours
Giro d'Italia
1 individual stage (2016)
Vuelta a España
2 individual stages (2011, 2021)

Stage races

Vuelta a Burgos (2015)
Arctic Race of Norway (2015)
Tour of Slovenia (2016)

Single-day races and Classics

National Road Race Championships (2009, 2013)
National Time Trial Championships
(2009, 2011, 2012, 2019, 2021)

Rein Taaramäe (born April 24, 1987) is an Estonian road bicycle racer, who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux.[4][5]


Cofidis (2008–14)[edit]

Taaramäe turned professional in 2008 for Cofidis after riding for the team as a stagiaire in late 2007 and winning a stage at the Circuit des Ardennes early in the season. In 2008 he won two stages of the Grand Prix du Portugal and a stage of the Tour de l'Avenir. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Taaramäe competed in the road race and the road time trial.

Taaramäe at the 2009 Tour de l'Ain

In 2009 he finished third at the Tour de Romandie and eighth at the Tour de Suisse. Taaramäe won both the Estonian National Road Race Championships and the Estonian National Time Trial Championships.[6] He also won the Tour de l'Ain after winning the last stage to Col du Grand Colombier.[7] In 2010 he finished seventh at the Paris-Nice and third at the Volta a Catalunya.

In 2011, Taaramäe finished 11th overall in the Tour de France. On Stage 14 of the Vuelta a España Taaramae and breakaway companion David de la Fuente were the last two riders of a 17-man breakaway, but with 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) to go de la Fuente dropped back to pace teammate Juan José Cobo up the climb allowing Taaramäe to solo to his first ever Grand Tour stage win. He ultimately withdrew from the race prior to its conclusion in Madrid.

Astana (2015)[edit]

In August 2014 Astana general manager Alexander Vinokourov announced that Taaramäe had signed a one-year contract with the team for the 2015 season.[8]

2015 began well for Taaramäe with the victory at the Vuelta a Murcia. Hopes were high with Grand Tours in mind, especially the Tour de France. At the race, Taaramäe was meant to help Vincenzo Nibali in the mountains. Unfortunately Taaramäe was forced to abandon the race during stage 11 due to illness. After the disappointing Tour, Taaramäe went on to win in style back-to-back in the Vuelta a Burgos and the Arctic Race of Norway in August.

Team Katusha (2016–17)[edit]

At the end of August 2015, Taaramäe signed an initial one-year deal with Team Katusha. He was named in the start list for the 2016 Giro d'Italia.[9] He won the 20th stage of the race, becoming the first Estonian to win a stage in the Giro.[10] After a short vacation at home in Estonia, Taaramäe went to win the overall at the Tour of Slovenia, together with a stage win on Stage 2.

Direct Ènergie (2018–2020)[edit]

During the 2018 Tour de France he had the opportunity to win stage 10, which would have given him a victory in all three grand tours. This was a very competitive stage, the first in the high mountains of that year's edition and there were several dozen riders fighting to get into the breakaway right from kilometer zero. Taaramäe led the race near the end but was eventually caught and dropped by Julian Alaphilippe, who used his world class descending skills to steal the victory.[11]

Taaramäe suffered dearly for his efforts and finished outside the time cut the following stage. He returned home to Estonia and took a break from cycling.[citation needed]

The following year his best place was 2nd overall in the Tour of Rwanda. His team, Direct Ènergie was one of the Pro-Continental level teams that rode this 2.1 Africa Tour event, which they rode again in 2020 where he won the King of the Mountains competition.

Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux (2021–Present)[edit]

Taaramäe had an opportunity to wear a leader's jersey in a grand tour for the first time in his career during the 2021 Giro d'Italia. On stage 4 he was involved in the breakaway and near the end of the stage was one of three riders also fighting for the stage win. Two riders, including eventual stage winner Joe Dombrowski, eventually caught the trio and dropped them. Taaramäe finished in the top 10 on the stage, his best result in a grand tour in several years.

During the 2021 Vuelta a España he got involved in the breakaway on stage 3. With 15km to go in the stage, before the start of the final climb he was among the final dozen or so riders fighting for the stage win. Dombrowski launched an attack with about 5km to go which only Kenny Elissonde, who was seeking his first stage victory in eight years, and Taaramäe answered. With 2.8km to go Taaramäe attacked and rode solo to the finish line claiming the victory. With this he also took the Red Jersey as well as the King of the Mountains jersey.[12] He became the first rider from Estonia to ever lead the Vuelta and only the second Estonian rider to lead a grand tour following sprinter Jaan Kirsipuu, who lead the Tour de France in 1999.

His team rode at the front of the race defending the leader's jersey for two stages and while he was involved in a crash, it was inside the final 3km of the stage and didn't affect the standings. He described the first day riding in the Red jersey as "beautiful" and would hold onto the mountains jersey for four stages.[13] Later in the race he would ride in support of his teammate Odd Christian Eiking, who took over the leader's jersey in a similar manner following a breakaway on stage 10 putting the team back at the front of the race for several stages.

Major results[edit]

3rd Overall Course de la Paix Juniors
1st MaillotEstonia.PNG Time trial, National Under-23 Road Championships
1st GP Ouest–France Espoirs
1st Stage 1 Kreiz Breizh Elites
2nd Silver medal europe.svg Time trial, UEC European Under-23 Road Championships
2nd Time trial, National Road Championships
2nd Les Boucles du Sud-Ardèche
3rd Overall Kreiz Breizh Elites
3rd Paris–Troyes
5th Overall Circuit des Ardennes
1st Stage 4
5th Boucle de l'Artois
1st Stage 6 (ITT) Tour de l'Avenir
3rd Overall Grand Prix du Portugal
1st Stages 2 & 3
8th Overall Circuit de la Sarthe
9th Tartu GP
National Road Championships
1st MaillotEstonia.PNG Time trial
1st MaillotEstonia.PNG Road race
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Tour de l'Ain
1st Stage 5
1st Jersey red.svg Mountains classification Tour of the Basque Country
3rd Overall Tour de Romandie
8th Overall Tour de Suisse
3rd Overall Volta a Catalunya
7th Overall Paris–Nice
9th Overall Route du Sud
9th Trofeo Inca
1st MaillotEstonia.PNG Time trial, National Road Championships
1st Stage 14 Vuelta a España
3rd Overall Critérium International
1st Jersey white.svg Young rider classification
4th Overall Paris–Nice
1st Jersey white.svg Young rider classification
5th Tartu GP
8th Overall Volta ao Algarve
10th Overall Circuit Cycliste Sarthe
National Road Championships
1st MaillotEstonia.PNG Time trial
3rd Road race
2nd Overall Vuelta a Andalucía
3rd Overall Étoile de Bessèges
6th Tallinn–Tartu GP
8th Overall Tour du Poitou-Charentes
National Road Championships
1st MaillotEstonia.PNG Road race
2nd Time trial
3rd Cholet-Pays de Loire
1st Tour du Doubs
2nd Overall Tour of Turkey
1st Stage 3
6th Overall Tour du Limousin
8th Overall Étoile de Bessèges
1st Jersey violet.svg Overall Vuelta a Burgos
1st Stage 2 (TTT)
1st Jersey blue.svg Overall Arctic Race of Norway
1st Vuelta a Murcia
2nd Road race, National Road Championships
6th Overall Volta ao Algarve
1st Jersey green.svg Overall Tour of Slovenia
1st Stage 2
1st Stage 20 Giro d'Italia
3rd Road race, National Road Championships
9th Overall Tour of Guangxi
2nd Coppa Ugo Agostoni
2nd Tour du Gévaudan Occitanie
3rd Overall Vuelta a Aragón
3rd Overall Tour de l'Ain
3rd Tour du Doubs
4th Famenne Ardenne Classic
1st MaillotEstonia.PNG Time trial, National Road Championships
2nd Overall Tour du Rwanda
3rd Overall Tour de l'Ain
3rd Overall Vuelta a Aragón
3rd Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge
1st Jersey orange.svg Mountains classification Tour du Rwanda
1st MaillotEstonia.PNG Time trial, National Road Championships
Vuelta a España
1st Stage 3
Held Jersey red.svg after Stages 3–4
Held Jersey blue polkadot.svg after Stages 3–6
3rd Overall Czech Cycling Tour

Grand Tour general classification results timeline[edit]

Grand Tour 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
A pink jersey Giro d'Italia 29 51
A yellow jersey Tour de France DNF 11 36 102 88 DNF DNF 66
A red jersey Vuelta a España 74 DNF DNF 147 55
Did not compete
DNF Did not finish


  1. ^ a b "Rein Taaramäe profile". Archived from the original on 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2013-12-27.
  2. ^ "Direct Énergie". Directvelo (in French). Association Le Peloton. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Total Direct Énergie". Union Cycliste Internationale. Archived from the original on 12 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux". Union Cycliste Internationale. Archived from the original on 3 January 2021. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  5. ^ "Rein Taaramäe vahetab klubi" [Rein Taaramäe changes team]. Delfi (in Estonian). Ekspress Meedia. 14 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  6. ^ Greg Johnson (28 July 2009). "Taaramae takes road title too". Cycling News. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  7. ^ "Cofidis sweeps Horner aside". Cycling News. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 23 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Taaramae signs one-year deal with Astana". 20 August 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  9. ^ "99th Giro d'Italia Startlist". Pro Cycling Stats. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Sensational Nibali all but wins the Giro d'Italia as Taaramae takes stage 20". Eurosport. Retrieved 28 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Alaphilippe Shines Van Avermaet Extends on Mountainous Stage 10 Tour de France". by Shane Stokes. 17 July 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "Veteran Rein Taaramäe Wins Stage 3 on Pico Blancon to Take Red Jersey". Eurosport by Felix Lowe. 16 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ "Rein Taaramäe Crashes but Retains Red Jersey". Cycling News by Patrick Fletcher. 18 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]