Diego Ulissi, eight-time Giro stage winner, is back in fray after few months in the sidelines. Image Credit: Team UAE Emirates

UAE Team Emirates have unveiled the team for the the Giro d’Italia, scheduled from May 8-30, with an experienced squad of riders for the 21 gruelling stages.

Leading the hopes for General Classification will be Davide Formolo while Fernando Gaviria will lead the group of sprinters. The squad members boast of an impressive 16 stage victories in total between them at the ‘Corsa Rosa’.

A key reference point in the team will also be eigh-time Giro stage winner Diego Ulissi, who is embarking on a successful return to competition after months on the sidelines.

Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) will lead the squad alongside Sports Directors Fabio Baldato (Ita), Marco Marzano (Ita) and Manuele Mori (Ita).

Formolo said on the eve of the race: “The Giro is a really special race for me. It’s where I had my first professional victory back in 2015 and it’s a race every Italian cyclist dreams of. I’m coming to the Giro from a successful altitude camp in Tenerife and I feel like the condition is good. The opportunity to lead the team is an exciting one. The race is coming very close to my home this year also that is always extra motivation.”

Team manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez said: “We have a very balanced team with a lot of pedigree. Davide Formolo will be our man for the GC: he has been in the top-10 three times at Grand Tours and we believe he can do even better and we’re going to support him in that.

‘‘Diego Ulissi is a key rider who has 8 stage wins to his name and will have his chances to go for the win on days that suit him. Valerio Conti and Joe Dombrowski both have excellent track records at the Giro and will be key helpers but could see their own opportunities depending how the race unfolds.”

‘‘We know the sprinting level will be high here and we have block of sprinters led by Fernando Gaviria with Richeze and Molano who will be disputing the flat stages. We have a very promising talent in Alessandro Covi who will make his Grand Tour debut. It’s a very important race for the team and we will aim to be protagonists on every stage.”

The Squad

Valerio Conti (Ita)

Alessandro Covi (Ita)

Joe Dombrowski (USA)

Davide Formolo (Ita)

Fernando Gaviria (Col)

Sebastian Molano (Col)

Maximiliano Richeze (Arg)

Diego Ulissi (Ita)