The first week of September sees an action packed couple of days with eight riders from UAE Team Emirates taking part in two consecutive back-to-back one-day races.
The team starts with the Bruxelles Cycling Classic (formerly Paris-Brussels) on Saturday 2 September before heading to France for the Grand Prix de Fourmies (La Voix Du Nord) on Sunday 3 September.
Taking part in both races are UAE Team Emirates’ riders: Simone Consonni, Roberto Ferrari, Filippo Ganna, Andrea Guardini, Marko kump, Seid Lizde, Vegard Stake Laengen and Oliviero Troia.
Commenting on the races and line-up, UAE Team Emirates’ Sports Director Righi said: “The Bruxelles Cycling Classic is a good opportunity for sprinters, while the Grand Prix de Fourmies features a route that’s a little more selective, which usually witnesses a group of around 40-50 riders competing to win in the final sprint.
“Of course the weather could influence the race, considering that in previous years the weather did significantly make the races more difficult.”
“Recently, Kump has been the rider in the best form and had some pretty impressive results. He will focus on trying to make the most out of his speed, especially in the Bruxelles Classic. If the Grand Prix de Fourmies ends in a bunch sprint then Consonni has what it takes to try and stand out.”
The Bruxelles Cycling Classic, covering a distance of 201.3km, starts at the Cinquantenaire Park and finishes at the King Baudouin Stadium. While the Grand Prix de Fourmies sees riders cycle 205km, starting and ending in the Nord region in France.
Elsewhere in Europe UAE Team Emirates is racing at the third and final Grand Tour of the season – the Vuelta a Espana until September 10, 2017.
UAE Team Emirates’ Louis Meintjes rose one place in the General Classification (GC) standings to 16th after finishing amongst fellow GC contenders on Stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana.
The South African crossed the line in 38th place, alongside current red jersey holder, Chris Froome (Team Sky).
Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) rode to another stage victory, crossing the line one second ahead of his nearest challenger in the sprint finish.
Commenting on Tuesday’s stage, UAE Team Emirates’ Louis Meintjes said: “It was a really hard day with some really extreme weather. For the first two hours we did 50km per hour with really bad visibility. I’m happy to finish without crashing and the last descent was very tricky, but I managed to get back and finish with the front group.”
Stage 11 will continue to test riders’ legs as we approach the halfway point of the Vuelta.
The 187.5km route from Lorca to Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto includes a number of false flats, some of which precede the two category one climbs that riders face going into the final 45km of the race. This stage could have a significant impact on the GC standings.
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamUAEAbuDhabi) August 29, 2017
Stage eight delivered an exciting day of racing with UAE Team Emirates’ Jan Polanc launching an attack, supported by his teammate Przemyslaw Niemiec, to lead the breakaway of the day for 35 km of the stage alongside 19 other riders.
The breakaway group managed to stay away from the peloton and on the final climb Polanc succeeded in limiting the gap between him and the counter-attackers Alaphilippe and Majka, joining them in the short descent to the arrival.
In the restricted sprint, the Slovenian rider from UAE Team Emirates obtained second and as a result moved up in the GC standings by 14 places to 13th.
The stage victory went to Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) while Chris Froome (Team Sky) retained the overall leader’s Red Jersey and UAE Team Emirates’ Niemic was awarded most aggressive rider.
Saturday’s efforts mark the fourth day in a row for UAE Team Emirates’ in or leading the main breakaway and the second consecutive day a Slovenian rider from the team has made it to the podium.
Commenting on his podium finish, Polanc said: “It was a very hard and warm stage. Today we had some headwind but there was a good group in front and we all worked together to maintain our positon. The last climb was hard and steep so when we reached the bottom I had to do it at my own pace keeping a distance to the guys in front of me but chasing as best I could and coming in second. Towards the end it was impossible to beat Alaphilippe as he is a great sprinter but I am very pleased with second place.”
The 176.3 km route of stage nine is identical to the route of the seventh stage in the 2015 edition of the race. Sunday’s stage, the last before the first rest day, is another summit finish with a much flatter preface than today. Starting in Orihuela the peloton will travel on flat roads from Torrevieja to the finish line in Cumbre del Sol.
Stage eight results
1- Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) – 04:37:55
2- Jan Polanc – UAE Team Emirates – 00:00:02
3- Rafal Majka – Bora-Hansgrohe – “”
1- Chris Froome – Team Sky – 32:26:13
2- Johan Esteban Chaves – ORICA-Scott – 00:00:28
3- Nicolas Roche – BMC Racing Team – 00:00:41
13- Jan Polanc – UAE Team Emirates – 00:02:29
— Matej Mohoric (@matmohoric) August 26, 2017