UAE Team Emirates will have options for both the general classification and the sprints at the upcoming Tour de France courtesy of climber Dan Martin and fast-finisher Alexander Kristoff.
The team unveiled its starting eight for the French grand tour on Friday.
Martin is coming off a solid ride at the Critérium du Dauphiné where he won a stage and rode to fourth on GC. With Colombia’s Darwin Atapuma as a key mountain domestique, the Irishman will look to improve on the sixth overall he delivered at last year’s Tour, his third career grand tour top 10.
The Irishman said on Friday that he will be striving to build on his sixth place finish last year as he leads Team Emirates in the Tour de France.
The Tour is “the big goal” for UAE Emirates, Martin told the team’s website. “It’s really a race of two halves,” Martin said. “But I’m confident we have a great team that can get me to the mountains in a good position to have a bit of fun.”
Kristoff will lead the hunt for sprint stage victories. The Norwegian claimed two stage wins in the 2014 edition of the Tour, and will look to Marco Marcato and Roberto Ferrari to set him up for the fast finishes. The former Tour of Flanders winner will also likely have his eye on the cobbled ninth stage to Roubaix.
“I am going to France determined to get the best result possible and, if possible, a stage victory,” Kristoff said.
Oliviero Troia, Kristijan Durasek, and Rory Sutherland will round out the roster for a team that is still seeking its first major Tour de France result since its previous iteration as Lampre-Merida.
UAE Team Emirates for 2018 Tour de France
Daniel Martin (Irl)
Darwin Atapuma (Col)
Kristijan Durasek (Cro)
Roberto Ferrari (I)
Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
Marco Mercato (I)
Rory Sutherland (Aus)
Oliviero Troia (I)