Fabio Aru has confirmed that he will race in the 2018 Giro d’Italia in May, choosing to take part in the Corsa Rosa for the first time since 2015.
Aru signed for UAE Team Emirates following five years with Astana, during which time he won the 2015 Vuelta a Espana. Aru’s first assignment for his new team will begin on Wednesday with the Abu Dhabi Tour, the home race for UAE Team Emirates.
“I really wanted to mull over this important decision, and I’ve had many constructive conversations with the team,” said the Italian road race champion. “The decision to participate in the Giro d’Italia was made with conviction, after careful consideration of many variables.”
Aru, Alexander Kristoff, Rui Costa, Diego Ulissi, Sven Erik Bystrom, Roberto Ferrari and Manuele Mori will all ride in the Abu Dhabi Tour.
Stage 1, the 189-kilometre Al Fahim Stage, will see the riders begin at the Madinat Complex, head out on a long stretch in the desert, past Liwa Oasis, before heading back towards Abu Dhabi and a sprint finish in front of Adnoc Schools.
Thursday’s second stage, the 154km Yas Island Stage, will start on Yas Island before the riders head to Al Rahba and Khalifa Port, with a sprint finish set up at Yas Beach.
Stage 3 on Friday, the 133km Nation Towers Stage, is another catered to the sprinters. Starting at Nation Towers, the stage will see the riders navigate the Abu Dhabi Corniche before crossing Yas Island and finish at the Big Flag.
Saturday’s fourth stage, the Al Maryah Island Stage, will host the Abu Dhabi Tour’s first individual time trial, a 12.6km route starting and ending on Al Maryah Island and taking in Reem Island.
Sunday’s final stage moves away from the flat sprinter-friendly course and into the mountains. The 199km Abu Dhabi Airports Stage will conclude with an ascent atop Jebel Hafeet, and success in this stage is expected to play a decisive role in the battle for the general classification title.