UAE Team Emirates aim for top at Tour de Romandie

Meinjtes and Ulissi set sights on General Classification at Tour de Romandie

Diego Ulissi sets sight on General Classification at Tour de Romandie

DUBAI 24April 2017: UAE Team Emirates’ duo Louis Meinjtes and Diego Ulissi are focused on achieving strong results at this week’s Tour de Romandie which starts on Tuesday, April 25 with a Prologue time-trial in Aigle (Switzerland), and finishes five days later in Lausanne.

The Tour De Romandie takes place throughout the Romandie region, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.

The race began in 1947 and traditionally starts with an individual time trial Prologue (an individual time trial of usually less than 8 km before a stage race, used to determine which rider wears the leader’s jersey on the first stage) in Geneva and ends with another individual time-trial (a stage of the race where riders race alone against the clock on flat, hilly or mountainous terrain) in the hilly terrain around Lausanne.

Consequently, the winner and most of the top-ten finishers are usually expected to be excellent time-trialists (riders that can maintain high speeds for long periods of time).

Simone Pedrazzini, Sporting Director for UAE Team Emirates, is hopeful ahead of the race: “The Meintjes-Ulissi duo is aiming for the top of the General Classification, weather permitting. We are hoping for good weather as the race’s technical corners may provide more of an obstacle, especially if it rains – and it almost always rains at the Tour de Romandie.

“There are also a couple of arrivals which are suitable for Ulissi. Swift will be back to race after the unlucky injury suffered before the Amstel Gold Race, which caused him to withdraw and miss some training days. However, we will rely on Simone Consonni for the two time-trial stages.”

The race also has a number of challenging climbs which UAE Team Emirates’ Louis Meintjes is hoping will allow him to make an impression on the GC. The South African rider is confident ahead of the race: “It’s important to assess my form and competitiveness on short stage races such as the Tour de Romandie. It will be great if I’m able to perform as well as I did at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. The second stage is one of the key stages, so I hope that I’ll be able to rely on good legs made strong after participating in two of the Ardennes Classics.”

Joining South African Meinjtes, who placed eighth in the 2016 Tour De France, will be teammate Diego Ulissi, one of only two riders to have won the Junior World Championships in consecutive years – 2006 & 2007.

“Tour de Romandie’s courses are demanding, so it will be an intense week,” said the Italian all-rounder. “Those who are aiming for a top result in the General Classification must come from the Ardennes Classics with good form. I am looking forward to the race and I believe that my own form will aid me in achieving a good result for the team, our sponsors and for myself by earning some points for the World Tour ranking.”

The full UAE Team Emirates line-up is: Matteo Bono, Anass Ait El Abdia, Ben Swift, Diego Ulissi, Louis Meinjtes, Oliviero Troia, Simone Consonni and Manuele Mori.

UAE Team Emirates

UAE Team Emirates is a professional cycling team licensed to compete on the UCI World Tour, the pinnacle tour of men’s professional road racing. Owned by Swiss-based company CGS Cycling, the management team comprises Matar Suhail Al Yabhouni Al Dhaheri – President, Giuseppe Saronni – General Manager, and Mauro Gianetti – Promoter.

UAE Team Emirates 26 man squad for the 2017 season comprises:
AIT EL ABDIA Anass 21.03.1993 MAR
ATAPUMA HURTADO Jhon Darwin 15.01.1988 COL
BONO Matteo 11.11.1983 ITA
CONSONNI Simone 12.09.1994 ITA
CONTI Valerio 30.03.1993 ITA
ĐURASEK Kristijan 26.07.1987 CRO
FARIA DA COSTA Rui Alberto 05.10.1986 POR
FERRARI Roberto 09.03.1983 ITA
GANNA Filippo 25.07.1996 ITA
GUARDINI Andrea 12.06.1989 ITA
KUMP Marko 09.09.1988 SLO
LAENGEN Vegard Stake 07.02.1989 NOR
MARCATO Marco 11.02.1984 ITA
MEINTJES Louis 21.02.1992 RSA
Mirza Al Hammadi Yousif 08.10.1988 UAE
MODOLO Sacha 19.06.1987 ITA
MOHORIC Matej 19.10.1994 SLO
MORI Manuele 09.08.1980 ITA
NIEMIEC Przemyslaw 11.04.1980 POL
PETILLI Simone 04.05.1993 ITA
POLANC Jan 06.05.1992 SLO
RAVASI Edward 05.06.1994 ITA
SWIFT Ben 05.11.1987 GBR
TROIA Oliviero 01.09.1994 ITA
ULISSI Diego 15.07.1989 ITA
ZURLO Federico 25.02.1994 ITA

By Sports Staff