UAE Team Emirates is sending an internationally diverse squad to one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, as it prepares to take on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on August 4.
The team, which will be led by the 2017 race winner Alexander Kristoff, consists of four nationalities from across Europe including Kristoff’s Norwegian team-mate Sven Erik Bystrom, the Swiss rouleur Tom Bohli, Portuguese neo pro Rui Oliveira and the Italian trio of Marco Marcato, Oliviero Troia and Roberto Ferrari.
The one-day race starts just south west of Britain’s capital in Bushy Park and takes the riders on a 169km loop around Surrey before finishing on The Mall, one of the city’s most iconic streets.
Along the course the peloton will have to tackle the imposing Box Hill climb no less than five times, a feature of the route which the team’s leader believes will benefit him.
Kristoff said: ”The Prudential Ride London is a race that I really like, I won in the British capital last time that I participated in the race in 2017.
“For this year, the route has been made more challenging: it can be a favourable change for me though, as with my good form a harder race can allow me to have a better chance in the sprint finish.”
The team will be guided by sports director Simone Pedrazzini.
UCI WorldTour team classification leaders Deceuninck Quick-Step enjoyed another outstanding Tour de France thanks largely to the supreme efforts of Julian Alaphilippe.
The Belgian-based team won three stages, clocked up two weeks in the coveted yellow jersey (which celebrated 100 years this July) and took home the Super Combatif award as well as a fifth place in the overall standings, the team’s best ever GC result at the race.
Once Le Tour was done and dusted, we talked with the members of the team that call themselves the Wolfpack – riders and staff alike – about their personal highlights of the race where the team delivered again a plethora of emotions, unforgettable moments, and majestic performances that thrilled cycling fans.
Less than a week after the Tour de France ended, two of the team’s biggest names will be back in action for UAE Team Emirates at the Clasica San Sebastian (August 3).
Both Dan Martin and Rui Costa will lead a team of seven as they take on one of the hilliest one-day races on the UCI WorldTour calendar. With seven categorised climbs along its 227.3km route, the Spanish classic will test the legs of even the most battle-hardened rider.
The team supporting Martin and Costa mixes experience and youth, and includes up and coming Slovenian talent, Tadej Pogacar. After a string of impressive performances, which have included winning the youth classification at the Tour of the Algarve, the Tour of the Basque and the Tour of Slovenia – as well as the yellow winner’s jersey at the Amgen Tour of California – Pogacar will be an outside favourite on this demanding parcours.
Pogacar said: “San Sebastian will be my first race after a training block, I’m coming back to racing feeling confident and ready to test myself against top competition, which we will no doubt be up against.
“I have worked hard over the past weeks, and I’m eager to see if this race will suit me well.”
The team will be guided by sports directors Joxean Matxin and Neil Stephens.
UAE squad: Rui Costa (Portugal), Daniel Martin (Ireland), Juan Sebastian Molano (Colombia), Tadej Pogacar, Jan Polanc (both Slovenia), Aleksandr Riabushenko (Belarus), Rory Sutherland (Australia)