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Mirza hopes to make mark in Slovenia
June 13, 2018
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Dubai: UAE Team Emirates’ Yousif Mirza will be hoping to cap off the Holy month of Ramadan with a positive result as he joins teammates at the Tour of Slovenia.

Mirza, who was recently recognised by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the UAE’s outstanding sportsmen of the year, will be looking to add to his medal haul and help continue the team’s rich vein of form following recent wins at the Critérium du Dauphiné and the GP du Canton d’Argovie.

Joining the UAE National Champion in Slovenia will be teammates Matteo Bono, Simone Consonni, Kristijan Durasek, Vegard Stake Laengen, Przemyslaw Niemic and Alexandr Riabushenko. The team will be guided by Sports Directors, Bruno Vicino and Paolo Tiralongo.

Commenting on the upcoming race, Mirza said: “I’m happy to be racing in Europe; it’s been a few weeks since my last race, the Tour of California, and I hope I can be useful to the team.

“The Tour of Slovenia is an interesting competition, our line-up is well balanced and we can aim for good results.”

Bruno Vicino added: “The Tour of Slovenia has undergone some renovations compared to past editions. We will have to be ready to compete on each individual stage, day by day.

“We will be counting on fast riders like Consonni, who could get a couple of chances, whilst Durasek will be aiming to stand out in some of the more challenging stages. The rest of the team will be looking to take advantage of any interesting opportunities, especially in the breakaway.”

The 2.1 ranked UCI European Tour race will see riders tackle five stages, spanning a total of 664km. The opening stage takes riders through the eastern region of Slovenia and is wide open for the sprinters with just one category four climb featuring at 56km.

Stage two and three are slight different, the rolling hills could catch out some of the sprinters, with a category two climb just 26km from the finish on Stage three.

Stage four will feature the toughest climbs of the tour, with a category one and two category two climbs testing the peloton in the second half of the race.

This will also be the last chance for the climbers to stake their claim for the title, with Stage five being an Individual Time Trial that could be the decider on who wins the overall General Classification.

Two days back, UAE Team Emirates’ Dan Martin secured fourth spot in the overall General Classification (GC) standings at this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné in France.

Martin’s impressive result came after he produced yet another strong display on the seventh and final stage of the race, finishing sixth behind eventual winner, Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott).

Martin not only narrowly missed out on a GC podium spot, but also came extremely close to claiming the points jersey, finishing just three points behind the green jersey winner, Daryl Impey.

In the final stage of the tour - which featured the fourth summit finish in a row - Edward Ravasi also showed his strength, as the young rider held his own in a determined breakaway that was eventually caught with just 10km to go.

His notable performance, along with contributions from Valerio Conti, Simone Petilli, Manuel Mori and Rory Sutherland helped UAE Team Emirates pick up second place in the overall team standings and cap off a successful seven days of racing ahead of the Tour de France.

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