UAE Team Emirates has announced its lineup for the 2019 Tour de France, with Fabio Aru making his grand tour comeback after recovering from surgery to repair a constricted iliac artery.
Aru will return to the race for the first time since finishing 5th in the 2017 edition and will be hoping to ride better than his 21st place at the recent Tour de Suisse, where he made his return to racing.
“After months of absence from racing, I was able to rediscover the spark of racing, feel fatigued in the legs and to really test my condition,” said Aru. “The feedback on my recovery is encouraging. I feel good which has led to my selection for the Tour de France.
“Through the last few months and during my injury I’ve always stayed calm and I’m taking that into this Tour de France: I will not be in France to worry about the general classification, the Grande Boucle will be an exciting new chapter as I reboot my season. I expect that my performance will improve step by step, I will fight to be competitive and to help the overall objectives of the team and will aim for a stage win if the conditions are right.”
The squad also brings Daniel Martin and Alexander Kristoff, but Fernando Gaviria will not start, as the Colombian sprinter is sidelined with a nagging knee injury.
“I’m really excited to get racing again at the Tour,” Martin said. “I feel good in training and the Dauphiné went really well, even if we didn’t see the same aggressive racing in the mountains that we normally do.
“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.”
UAE Team Emirates for the Tour de France: Fabio Aru, Sven Erik Bystrøm, Rui Costa, Sergio Henao, Alexander Kristoff, Vegard Stake Laengen, Daniel Martin, Jasper Philipsen