Paris (AFP)

If the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, on the way to winning the Tour de France, is still only at the beginning of his career, the leaders of his team, UAE Emirates, have a long experience of cycling, between triumphs of one day and sometimes scandals.

No doping case affecting its leaders has come to threaten the rise of this formation, one of the most silver of the peloton with the support of the powerful airline Emirates.

As for Pogacar, with very high level performances on the Tour in the opinion of specialists, he has never been the subject of a positive doping control.

His formation comes from the late Italian team Lampre, one of the oldest groups in the peloton.

Giuseppe Saronni, the 1982 world champion for a long time as Lampre's sporting boss, is also included in the UAE Emirates organization chart as an advisor.

Present in the WorldTour since 2017, the first world division, UAE Emirates has in its management two of the former managers of the Saunier Duval team, named after the boiler manufacturer, the Swiss Mauro Gianetti (56 years old) and the Spaniard Joxean Matxin Fernandez (49 years old).

- The photo of the "cobra" -

At almost 22 years old, Pogacar was still only a child when this team caused a scandal on the Tour de France 2008. The photo of the Italian "cobra" Riccardo Ricco, framed by gendarmes and kicked out of the Tour for doping with the EPO, even toured the world.

Two of his acolytes, the Italian Leonardo Piepoli and the Spaniard Juan José Cobo, were subsequently convicted of doping as well.

For Cobo, belatedly deprived of his victory in the 2011 Vuelta in favor of Briton Chris Froome, the affair took a few years.

Matxin Fernandez, who led the Geox de Cobo team at the time of the 2011 Vuelta, was subsequently recruited by the Quick-Step team in a role of talent scout.

Before joining Gianetti, when the Swiss managed to create the UAE team.

Since 2017, UAE Emirates has recruited riders with very different profiles, including Irish puncher-climber Dan Martin with an immaculate reputation for ethics, Italian Fabio Aru, ex-Vuelta winner, and Norwegian Alexander Kristoff. .

On the Tour, on the other hand, Pogacar often found himself lonely in the final stages, facing the Jumbo armada of his direct opponent Primoz Roglic.

Especially after the abandonment of the two riders who were to be (with Polanc and de La Cruz) his best support in the mountains, the Italians Fabio Aru and Davide Formolo.

But the yellow jersey was able to fend for itself very well in the race.

© 2020 AFP