Formolo, Gaviria to spearhead UAE Team charge at Giro d’Italia - GulfToday

Formolo, Gaviria to spearhead UAE Team charge at Giro d’Italia

UAE Team

UAE Team Emirates feature riders who are a mix of experience and youth.

UAE Team Emirates have unveiled the team heading into the Giro d’Italia, slated to be held form May 8-30, with an exciting squad starting the race which begins from the city of Turin.

The team will count upon an experienced base of riders for the 21 stages, with an impressive 16 stage victories in total between them at the ‘Corsa Rosa’.

Leading the hopes the General Classification will be Davide Formolo while Fernando Gaviria will lead the group of sprinters.

A key reference point in the team will also be eight-time Giro stage winner Diego Ulissi who is embarking on a successful return to competition after many months on the sideline.

Formolo said: “The Giro is a really special race for me. It’s where I had my first professional victory back in 2015 and it’s a race every Italian cyclist dreams of.

“I’m coming to the Giro from a successful altitude camp in Tenerife and I feel like the condition is good. The opportunity to lead the team is an exciting one. The race is coming very close to my home this year also that is always extra motivation.”

Joxean Matxin Fernandez, team manager, said: “We have a very balanced team with a lot of pedigree. Davide will be our man for the GC: he has been in the top-10 three times at Grand Tours and we believe he can do even better and we’re going to support him in that.

“Diego Ulissi is a key rider who has eight stage wins to his name and will have his chances to go for the win on days that suit him.

“Valerio Conti and Joe Dombrowski both have excellent track records at the Giro and will be key helpers but could see their own opportunities depending how the race unfolds,” he added.

“We know the sprinting level will be high here and we have have block of sprinters led by Fernando Gaviria with Richeze and Molano who will be disputing the flat stages.

“We have a very promising talent in Alessandro Covi who will make his Grand Tour debut. It’s a very important race for the team and we will aim to be protagonists on every stage,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, UAE Team Emirates and Felix Grob have put pen to paper on a deal which will see him in the colours of UAE Team Emirates for the next three years.

Felix said: “I have almost no words, I am really really happy. The chance to ride in a such great team is something I wouldn’t have thought possible.

“I’ve been on the track for many years now, and I believe I can be very successful on the road as well. I feel like I’m in the right place and I am looking forward to wearing the UAE Team Emirates jersey next year.”

 Grob, who currently races on the road at Continental level, has predominantly competed on the track in the junior and under-23 categories.

His most notable success came recently in 2020 where he won gold medals in both the Individual Pursuit and the Kilometre TT events, as well as a bronze medal in the Men’s Team Pursuit at the European under-23 Track Championships in Fiorenzuola d’Arda in Italy.

 “My first contact with the team was after my success at Fiorenzuola. What came out of it, the participation at the camp in Abu Dhabi in January, various tests, talks – the hope that the big dream would come true: a spot in the WorldTour.

“And now it has come true. I’m looking forward to everything that’s coming. And that maybe I can take some of the strengths I’ve developed on the track with me onto the road. At the beginning, of course, there’s a lot of learning and gaining experience.

 “I’m excited about what this year will bring, the chance to go on a journey with UAE Team Emirates, I’m incredibly excited.

“However, firstly, along with the support of the German Cycling Federation, I will be putting all my focus on the Olympic Games.”

 The German will join the team later in 2021 as a stagaire after the Olympic Games where he will represent his nation.

 Fernandez said: “Felix is a young, talented rider who is a top-class rider on the track and we hope to help him make the transition to the road.

“We had him with us at the early season team camp in Abu Dhabi and he impressed us a lot and is a rider who has a great attitude.

“We see great potential in him and we are excited for him to join us at the end of the year as a stagaire after the Olympics.”

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