News | UAE Tour • February 20, 2020
Solid team assembled for UAE Tour
Emirati squad aiming high for home race
UAE Team Emirates have announced their squad to take on the UAE Tour (2.WT) from 23 – 29 February with equal emphasis on sprinting and climbing.
With 10 race wins already this season the team is experiencing a strong start to 2020 and riding a wave which they plan to continue right into the UAE Tour.
In the absence of a time trial, the race route features two summit finishes at the Jebel Hafeet. Tadej Pogačar will spearhead the climbing force with Diego Ulissi and new signing Davide Formolo giving the team further options. Pogačar proved his condition earlier this month with overall victory at the Vuelta Valenciana in Spain and will go into the UAE Tour aiming for another big result.
Fernando Gaviria also goes into the race on good form having claimed 3 stage wins at the Vuelta San Juan in January and will hope to build on his win in the 2019 race where he won the opening road stage. This year he will rely on the lead-out capabilities of Max Richeze with Oliviero Troia and Sven Erik Bystrom offering further strength on the flat stages.
The team will be under the direction of the experienced trio of Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa), Neil Stephens (Aus) and Marco Marzano (Ita) who will lead the following 7 riders:
-Fernando Gaviria (Col)
-Max Richeze (Arg)
-Davide Formolo (Ita)
-Diego Ulissi (Ita)
-Tadej Pogačar (Slo)
-Oliviero Troia (Ita)
-Sven Erik Bystrom (Nor)
Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Manager) : “The UAE Tour is our home race and one of the most important fixtures in our season. Gaviria will be our main man for the sprint stages and he will be well supported. Max Richeze has shown great things this season and Fernando has thrived with him as a lead-out man so we hope for more victories from them. For the mountain stages we have the strong trio of Pogačar, Formolo and Ulissi. We want to be active in all stages in UAE and we are going there full of confidence after our strong start to the season.”
Tadej Pogačar: “ After Vuelta Valenciana I feel confident knowing that my form is good. After the winter you are always unsure where you stand but I worked really hard in training and it seems to have paid off so far. UAE will be the first big goal of my season building up towards the Tour de France. With myself, Diego and Davide we have many cards to play in the mountain stages and then for the sprints we will be focused on Fernando. The atmosphere in the team is very good, winning obviously helps this and we’ll be aiming to continue that good run into UAE Tour and beyond.”