Dan Martin will head UAE Team Emirates at this year’s Tour de France, which gets underway on Saturday 7th July in Vendée, with the Irishman expected to challenge for the overall classification.
The Irish cyclist, already a stage winner in the Tour, placed sixth in the 2017 edition even while racing 12 stages with a broken vertebra.
“Since I signed for Team UAE the big goal has been the Tour de France.” Martin said. “I plan to take the race day by day, stage by stage and try to achieve the best results possible. It’s really a race of 2 halves and the first 9 days will be very tricky bringing different challenges each day, but I’m confident we have a great team that can get me to the mountains in a good position to have a bit of fun. Everything has gone well since the Dauphine and I’m just looking forward to getting started.”
The European champion Alexander Kristoff will lead UAE Team Emirates’s sprint challenge, ensuring the team will be competitive on more than one front. The support riders have major experience, with the likes of Marco Mercato, Rory Sutherland and Roberto Ferrari. A young rouleur, Oliviero Troia, and two climbers, Darwin Atapuma and Kristijan Durasek, make up the remainder of the UAE Team Emirates squad for la Grande Boucle 2018.
“This is the biggest race in the world.” Kristoff said. “The event where you get all the best cyclists, the best sprinters. I am going to France determined to get the best result possible and, if possible, a stage victory.”
There will be live TV coverage of the Tour de France each day on TG4, ITV4 and Eurosport with each channel broadcasting a highlights show every evening.