Fernando Gaviria Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: With the inaugural UAE Tour less than 20 days away and UAE Team Emirates is showing lot of promise, following stage wins from sprint sensation Fernando Gaviria, the team heads to Spain to continue its preparations and compete at the Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana.

There are three standout names on the team sheet, with former World Champion Rui Costa leading the charge alongside Tour de France 2018 stage winners, Alexander Kristoff and Dan Martin. The front three will be supported by teammates: Marco Marcato, Alexandr Riabushenko, Edward Ravasi and Manuele Mori.

The first Spanish stage race of the season, the Volta a La Comunitat Valenciana, will see a host of other big-name contenders take to the stage, vying for the General Classification (GC) title. The opening stage is a short 10.2km Individual Time Trial (ITT) which will favour the time trial specialist who will undoubtedly look to take advantage of the fast and reasonably flat course.

The true test comes in the following three stages where riders will navigate through a series of hilly and mountainous parcours that will suit the likes of Dan Martin and Rui Costa who will look to test the form in their early season legs. The final stage is an extremely short sprint into Valencia and, at just 88km, fans can expect to see an emphatic race to the line where UAE Team Emirates’ Alexander Kristoff will battle to be a main competitor for the day’s honours. Commenting ahead of the race, Rui Costa said: “I’m really happy to start another season as a cyclist. I worked hard over the winter, with renewed enthusiasm and high morale after I found some good form in the final part of 2018. In the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, I will have the chance to see how my legs respond to the race’s rhythm and find that spark needed for upcoming races.”