Emirati all-rounder Yousif Mirza heads to Europe with 11 of his team-mates in their first set of races for the 2019 season, as UAE Team Emirates take on Challenge Mallorca, a four day competition from January 31 to February 3.
Four seven-man teams will be guided by sports director Marco Marzano and technical assistant Paolo Tiralongo across four different one-day races.
The team for the Trofeo Ses Salines, Campos, Porreres, Felanitx on January 31 includes: Fabio Aru, Manuele Mori, Marco Marcato (all Italy), Alexander Kristoff, Vegard Stake Laengen (both Norway), Yousif Mirza (UAE) and Rui Oliveira (Portugal).
Riders competing at the Trofeo Andratx Loseta on February 1 are: Kristian Durasek (Croatia), Kristoff, Stake Laengen, Dan Martin (Ireland), Simone Petilli, Edward Ravasi (both Italy) and Aleksandr Riabushenko (Belarus).
The team for Trofeo de Tramuntana on February 2 is: Aru, Durasek, Martin, Mirza, Petilli, Ravasi and Riabushenko.
Finally the Trofeo Palma contingent on February 3 is: Durasek, Kristoff, Stake Laengen, Marcato, Mori and Oliveira.
Mirza said: “I can’t wait for this new season to begin. This will be year three of the amazing adventure of UAE Team Emirates, we improved a lot and we want to achieve better results.
“In the early races, my team-mates were very good in terms of results. My path in WorldTour cycling has been so exciting up to now, I’m becoming a better rider day after day thanks to the huge skills of the team’s management, staff and directors.
“It’s great to race in Mallorca with most of the top riders of the team, I’ll try to exploit the race in order to check my fitness and to support the team’s captains.”
“The Challenge Mallorca takes a certain importance given that we have 12 riders heading there,” said Marzano.
“Our objective is not just results, but to use the four days of racing to better understand how our winter training programme has improved the riders’ form.
“The 12 cyclists will rotate in the races, with five riders not competing each day but training under the guidance of our coaches instead. We are confident that this Mallorca trip will help us in our overall 2019 plan, which has already helped us achieve great results in Australia and Argentina.”
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