Aru headed to Tour of Guangxi for first race in China

Italian will lead UAE Team Emirates in final WorldTour race of 2018

Fabio Aru is in for a new adventure this week as the 2015 Vuelta a Espana winner heads to China for the first time to lead UAE Team Emirates at the Tour of Guangxi, the final WorldTour race of 2018.

“This is the first time in my career that I will be racing in China," Aru said. "I am very curious to try this new experience and discover a new country."

The Tour of Guangxi will be the final race of the year for Aru, who has suffered through a difficult season. The 28-year-old crashed on stage 2 of the Vuelta and has struggled to live up to the reputation of a former race winner. Aru also struggled at the Giro d'Italia, where he consistently lost time until abandoning on stage 19. Earlier in the season, he abandoned the Volta a Catalunya with muscle problems.

The Tour go Guangxi could provide a final opportunity to salvage something from his season, but Aru said he won't be any pressure to deliver a result.

"Like the last races I’ve competed in, I won’t be under a lot of pressure to achieve results in China," he said. "However, I really want to do my best in this competition in a new frontier of world cycling."

Aru will be joined in China by Matteo Bono, Yousif Mirza, Jan Polanc, Aleksandr Riabushenko, Ben Swift and Oliviero Troia.

"I’m going to give my all to the team," Aru said. "We are going to try to light up the race and show off our jersey.”

The Tour of Guangxi starts Tuesday with a 107.4km stage in Beihai. Stage 2 takes the peloton 145.2km from Beihai to Qinzhou. Stage 3 follows with 125.4km in Nanning, with the Queen stage taking place the next day over 125.4km from Nanning to Mashan Nongla Scenic Spot. Stage 5 is the longest of the race at 212.2km from Liuzhou to Guilin. The race concludes Sunday, October 21, with 169km in Guilin.

UAE Team Emirates for Tour of Guangxi: Fabio Aru, Matteo Bono, Yousif Mirza, Jan Polanc, Aleksandr Riabushenko, Ben Swift, Oliviero Troia 

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