Team of eight riders ready to tackle gruelling 20-stage event
UAE Team Emirates has revealed its eight-man line-up, who are set to tackle the 2019 Tour de France next month (July 6-28).
Headline acts include Tour de France 2018 stage winners, Dan Martin and Alexander Kristoff, former world champion Rui Costa and, continuing his comeback from injury, former Italian national champion Fabio Aru.
The four riders will be supported by Norwegian national champion Vegard Stake Laengen, his compatriot Sven Erik Bystrom, Sergio Henao and Tour de France debutant, Jasper Philipsen.
Commenting on his selection, last year’s Stage 21 winner Kristoff said: “I’ll be going to this Tour with the objective of trying to win a stage, as well as reliving the emotions of last year. This season my form has been better than the past few years, but the level of all the top riders is so high that simply being in good condition is not enough, you also need enormous determination and a little luck.”
It’s a fifth consecutive Tour de France for UAE Team Emirates’ Martin, who added: “I’ve come out of the Dauphiné well and I like the look of the course this year, plus we have a super strong team with a lot of different options and cards to play. I’m just looking forward to getting started now.”
The opening stage – nicknamed the Grand Depart – will for a second time in history take place in Belgium. The stage will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Eddy Merckx’s first victory at the Tour and marks the 100th year anniversary since the iconic Yellow Jersey was first introduced.
Riders will then take on another 19 stages across three weeks of racing, before the traditional procession in Paris on the Champs-Élysées.