Built like a boxer and with the eyes of a mafia hitman, Djamolidine Abdoujaparov is one of the legendary sprinters of the sport. Known for his reckless style of sprinting, he would probably have been disqualified much more these days than when he was racing, which was from 1990 to 1997.
Within those short seven years he achieved what only three other riders - Eddy Merckx, Alessandro Petacchi and Laurent Jalabert - have achieved, to won the Points Classification in each of the Grand Tours.
Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on February 28th 1964, he quickly gained the nickname ‘The Tashkent Terror’ when he started to make a name for himself in Europe. He first turned pro with Alfa Lum and went on to race for Carrera, Lampre and Lotto, amongst others.
He was famous for his battles with Jalabert, they being the prime sprinters of their generation. In 1991 he managed to win the Tour de France’s Points Classification from Jalabert despite a huge crash on the final stage into Paris, when Abdoujaparov, drifting across the road but looking like he would win the sprint, hit a a giant Coca-Cola can used for marketing purposes and flew into the air spectacularly, crashing heavily and bringing several others down with him.
His teammates picked him up and he managed to cross the line unaided, securing the Green Jersey before being whisked away on a stretcher to hospital.
In the 1997 Tour de France the Tashkent Terror failed drugs test, posting for Clenbuterol, amongst other banned substances. He retired from the sport at that time.