Kristoff leads UAE Team Emirates challenge
Alexander Kristoff, Abu Dhabi Tour stage winner and reigning European Champion
UAE Team Emirates has announced a super-seven line up for Friday's Milan-San Remo race, with Abu Dhabi Tour stage winner and reigning European Champion, Alexander Kristoff leading the team as they look to secure their first race win of the 2018 UCI World Tour season, a press release said.
Kristoff, who is aiming to add to his 2014 Milan-San Remo victory, will be supported by an experienced team including; Diego Ulissi, Marco Marcato and Ben Swift. The latter has finished on the podium twice in this race - 3rd in 2014 and 2nd in 2016. Joining them will be the promising young trio of Oliviero Troia, Simone Consonni and Sven Erik Bystrøm. The riders will be guided along the 300km route by Sports Director Mario Scirea and his colleague Marco Marzano.
Kristoff is targeting the Spring Classic as one of his main goals for 2018.
"I've always really liked Milan-San Remo and its appeal increased when I won in 2014. I already have a number of races under my belt already this season and have set up so that I can be in top form for the Spring Classics. I've been held back by a few health issues and at the beginning of Paris-Nice I had some days where I didn't feel very well, but I think I'm better now and I've been working hard to get back to full fitness. I am 100% focused on this race. The objective is to figure as a major player and I'm confident I have the right team to support me and put me in a strong position."
With a distance of 300km to tackle, Milan-Sanremo is the longest one-day race of the year and a huge test for riders so early in the season. The course, the first of the five cycling monuments, remains unchanged from last year, with riders departing from Milan and heading south-west to the Mediterranean coast.
The opening 150km of the race could be an opportunity for the breakaway to build up a considerable lead on the peloton, before the race opens up as riders reach the coast. Five short climbs in the final 55km could have a big influence on the race outcome, but the world-class sprinters of this year's tour should be able to attack them and provide fans with a thrilling sprint finish on the flat 2km run-in to San Remo.
UAE Team Emirates' participation on the UCI World Tour gives the local community the opportunity to come together and support world-class athletes as they aim to become one of the top cycling teams on the tour.