Ireland’s Dan Martin and Italian Fabio Aru will be among a strong UAE Team Emirates challenge at the Vuelta a España, the final Grand Tour of the season, which begins on Saturday, 25th August.
UAE Team Emirates’ cyclists have enjoyed some previous success in the Spanish Grand Tour. Aru won the race in 2015 and counts two stage wins from 2014, and Martin won a stage in 2011 among his five participations. Valerio Conti, who won the stage in Urdax-Dantxarinea in 2016, will also participate.
The Norwegian duo, national champion Vegard Stake Laengen and Sven Erik Bystrøm, will lead on the flats. They will join three Italian Vuelta debutants: Simone Consonni, who will sprint, and climbers Simone Petilli and Edward Ravasi.
Speaking ahead of the Vuelta, UAE Team Emirates manager Joxean Matxin said:
“We will have the chance to aim for outstanding results with high-calibre and experienced riders and, at the same time, to help some make a step ahead in their careers. Aru will be our man for the general classification; in addition we will be able to count on Daniel Martin, back from an excellent Tour de France and looking for more good results in some stage finishes particularly suited to him.”
In outlining the aims for the other team members, Matxin stated:
“Consonni will have the opportunity to show his talent in the sprints. And Petilli and Ravasi will have the responsibility of supporting Aru and Martin the best they can on the climbs, in addition to Conti.”
“I also think the contribution of the Norwegian duo Laengen and Bystrøm will offer a well-rounded, robust team. Among other things, Bystrøm won the 2014 world championships as an Under 23 in Spain.”
La Vuelta begins on Saturday, 25th August and runs until Sunday, 16th September. There will be extensive TV coverage of the 2018 season’s final Grand Tour on Eurosport.