The first version of the Liquigas team, heir of Brescialat with, from 1999 to 2001, riders such as Serhiy Honchar and Davide Rebellin, is a far cry from the major Italian team of the last eight seasons, whose history dates back to 2005 and continues this year under the moniker of bicycle manufacturer Cannondale, which has now taken up the baton alone from the Italian energy provider.
For a long time, the team managed by Roberto Amadio proved to perform less well on the Tour de France than elsewhere: a two times winner of the Tour of Italy (with Danilo Di Luca in 2007 and Ivan Basso in 2010) and the Tour of Spain (with Vincenzo Nibali in 2010). It only boasted a single stage victory (Filippo Pozzato at Autun in 2007), upstaged by the crash on that day of favourite Alexandre Vinokourov and outsider Andreas Klöden. Indeed, Liquigas stood out mainly on the roads of Le Tour thanks to the fighting qualities of its young riders, Vincenzo Nibali and Roman Kreuziger, in 2008 and 2009, until the hat-trick of stage wins achieved by Peter Sagan in 2012.
The Slovak, the first rider born in the 1990's to win a stage, outshone all his rivals in the race for the green jersey and prepared the terrain for Vincenzo Nibali, the leading rider (3rd) behind Sky's one-two in Paris. Now that the 'Shark from Messina' has left for Astana, Sagan, who instantly became a star on Le Tour, now bears the responsibilities of team leader alone, which does not frighten him in the slightest. He's had a relatively quiet season but is still a media star.
Stage victories: 4
- 2007: Filippo Pozzato in Autun
2012: Peter Sagan in Seraing, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Metz
Victories in secondary classifications: 1
2012: Peter Sagan, green jersey
Yellow Jerseys: 0
141: the massive lead of Peter Sagan, new to the race, over runner-up André Greipel in the points classification on Le Tour 2012
12th July 2007: in Autun, Filippo Pozzato wins the sole stage victory for Liquigas at the time
14th July 2008: in Hautacam, Vincenzo Nibali obtains the white jersey for best young rider that he reluctantly has to hand over to Andy Schleck six days later, when Le Tour visits Prato Nevoso in Italy
12th July 2012: at La Toussuire, Vincenzo Nibali rises up to 3rd place in the general classification where he would remain for the rest of the race.