Rabobank (cycling)The title sponsor of the previous two years, WordPerfect, was a product of Novell Software, which carried the team s name this one season. Raas became the team manager of the Rabobank team while Theo de Rooy, Adrie van Houwelingen and Zoetemelk were directeur sportifs. The Rabobank team has dominated the Dutch National championships over several disciplines in cycling for example Elite and Under 23 time trial championships, Elite and Under 23 Road Race, Elite and Under 23 Cyclo-cross disciplines as well as Mountain Bike championships. He was at that time one of the few remaining Rabobank riders from the 1996 team.
After that season, Buckler decided to stop sponsoring. A new sponsor was found in WordPerfect. Joop Zoetemelk ended his career with a victory in the Amstel Gold Race. After the 1989 season, the main sponsoring was taken over by Buckler.
The year still was disappointing with only 25 victories. In 1995, the team was joined by Djamolidine Abdoujaparov, the winner of the points classification in the 1994 Tour de France. In that year, the team was officially known as Superconfex - Kwantum - Yoko - Colnago.
Groenendaal attacked during the first lap and was chased by defending cyclo-cross world champion Mario De Clercq who was followed by Groenendaal s Rabobank teammate Sven Nys. Steven Rooks left the team, Raúl Alcalá joined the team.
That year, the team had the winner of the Dutch national road race championships again, as Peter Winnen won the race. In 1993 and 1994, Michael Boogerd and Leon van Bon started their professional career in the team, and Viatcheslav Ekimov also came.
Groenendaal dominated the Dutch cyclo-cross championships for many years. As a result, Nys received much criticism from the Belgian team manager Erik De Vlaeminck as well as the Belgian public. Jan Raas was the team manager for the first eight years of the teams existence.
The Tour du Pont was won again, together with the Tour of Luxembourg. When Denis Menchov took the lead in the 2005 Vuelta a Espana, he was not expecting to be competing for the overall classification The following year Menchov focused on the Tour de France where the team rode strongly with Menchov, Boogerd and Rasmussen. During the 2007 Tour de France, Rabobank fired Michael Rasmussen (2005 Tour de France, 2006 Tour de France K.O.M.) for code-violations while he was in the yellow jersey The Rabobank team was invited for the 2008 Tour de France.
Erik Dekker won the UCI World Cup in 2001 due to his Classic win and high placings in many of the classics. The team signed American Levi Leipheimer in 2002 as a rider for the Tour de France. After a victory in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne for Ludo Peeters, the new sprinter Jean-Paul van Poppel (coming from the Skala cycling team) gave the team a great year, with three stage wins in the Tour de France (of which two for van Poppel) and the victory in the points classification in the Tour de France for Jean-Paul van Poppel.
Team manager Jan Raas allegedly told Nys not to cooperate in the chase of his commercial teammate and as a result De Clercq never caught Groenendaal enabling Groenendaal to become World Champion. This second win earned him the pink leader jersey, which the team defended to the end of the race, earning Menchov, and Rabobank, their third Grand Tour GC win. The Rabobank cyclo-cross team has dominated the sport in the past with Sven Nys and Richard Groenendaal winning the General Classification competitions such as the Superprestige, the World Cup and the Gazet van Anwerpen trophy over the last eight years.
Abdoujaparov won one stage in the Tour de France, but other than that, the year was still not what the sponsor s had hoped, so a new sponsor had to be found. The team became more of a Grand Tour team as could be seen by Michael Rasmussen s win in the Mountains Classification of the 2005 Tour de France.
The team also has had the World Champion in several categories for example Cyclo-cross; in 1996 Adrie van der Poel, in 2000 Richard Groenendaal and in 2004 Sven Nys. The Tour of Belgium was won again, and the Ronde van Nederland was won as well.
Leipheimer finished eighth in his first Tour but crashed out of the race on the first stage of the 2003 Tour de France. In 2003 Raas was removed rather abruptly which surprised the other members of staff including Theo De Rooy as well as riders Erik Dekker and Michael Boogerd. The road racing team has won several Classics such as the Ronde van Vlaanderen in 1997, Championship of Hamburg in 1998, the Amstel Gold Race in 1999 and 2001, Paris-Tours in 1999 and 2004, Clásica de San Sebastián in 2000 and Milan-Sanremo in 2004 and 2007.
Leipheimer finished ninth overall the following year. Menchov finished 4th place in the 2008 Tour de France, and Óscar Freire won the points classification.
1992 also saw a young Erik Dekker entering the team. The Rabobank team during the 2005 Rund um den Henninger Turm race. Rabobank (UCI Team Code: RAB The cycling team was founded for the 1984 season under the name Kwantum, with mostly cyclists coming from the TI-Raleigh cycling team. In road bicycle racing, teams take name from their main sponsors.
Groenendaal left the team after the 2006-2007 season. Jan Raas remained the team leader.
Lars Boom joined the team in 2002 as a junior cyclo-cross rider and has already achieved success in the Elite cyclo-cross championships as well as showing promise riding in the UCI Europe Tour with the Rabobank Continental team. In 2002, the Rabobank cycling team was split into the normal team and the GS3 team, for cyclo-cross and young talents. Óscar Freire became UCI Road World Champion in 2004.
The Rabobank team has previously had the following sponsors, and thus names. After the season of 1983, the TI-Raleigh team split up because of tension between former world champion Jan Raas and team leader Peter Post. For the 1987 season, the main sponsor became Superconfex. Still, the 1993 season did not turn out a great season, with only 29 victories, the most important being Three Days of De Panne and the Tour DuPont.
In 2005 it was renamed to the Continental team. Since 1996, the team won 1796 races , of which 491 were won in the (UCI) ProTour, and 362 in the cyclo-cross protour. The Rabobank ProTeam includes 30 cyclists, the maximum allowed. As of 16 February 2008. Note: (*) are cyclo-cross specialists Ag2r-La Mondiale • Astana • Bbox Bouygues Telecom • Caisse d Epargne • Cofidis • Euskaltel-Euskadi • Française des Jeux • Fuji-Servetto • Garmin-Slipstream • Lampre-NGC • Liquigas-Doimo • Quick Step • Rabobank • Silence-Lotto • Team Columbia-HTC • Team Katusha • Team Milram • Team Saxo Bank UCI ProTour • 2009 UCI ProTour • 2008–2009 UCI Africa Tour • 2008–2009 UCI America Tour • 2008–2009 UCI Asia Tour • 2008–2009 UCI Europe Tour • 2008–2009 UCI Oceania Tour .
The team had to wait until 2009 for the first successes in the Giro d Italia, when Denis Menchov won two stages; a mountain finish and a time trial. Sven Nys, Thijs Verhagen and Lars Boom were Under 23 Cyclo-cross World Champions in 1997, 2002 and 2007 respectively while Boom was became Under 23 World Time trial champion in 2007. In the 2000 Cyclo-cross World championships there was a conflict between the commercial team interests and the national team interests.