UAE Team Emirates will continue building toward the final monument of the season at Il Lombardia next Saturday with three Italian one-day races over the coming week: Tre Valli Varesine on Tuesday, Milano-Torino on Wednesday and Gran Piemonte on Thursday.
Rui Costa will carry the team banner at Tre Valli Varesine and again at Milano-Torino, where he'll be joined by Dan Martin and Fabio Aru. The team are pinning their hopes for Gran Piemonte on sprinter Nicolás Tivani.
“We’re expecting three interesting races in which we can line up some important riders," said team director Mario Scirea. "Rui Costa will find routes suited to his skills in the Tre Valli Varesine and in the Milano-Torino, races in which we will have several options, since Aru and Martin will be there as well."
Tre Vallie Varesine is a lumpy 192.8km from Saronno to Varese that AG2R La Mondiale's Alexandre Geniez won last year. Sprinter Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) won there in 2016, and Vincenzo Niabli (Bahrain-Merida) took victory there the year before that. Milano-Torino is a 200km climber's race from Magenta to Superga, where Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) took the victory last year. Other previous winners include Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Diego Rosa (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador.
Gran Piemonte is a flatter 191km race from Racconigi to Stupinigi that usually favours sprinters from a reduced bunch. Giaccomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) took the win last year
"In the Gran Piemonte, Tivani could have a good chance if things should end in a sprinting arrival," Scirea said. "We will try to make the most of the three races as we prepare our approach to the Il Lombardia."
UAE Team Emirates for Tre Valli Varesine: Andrea Bagioli, Matteo Bono, Rui Costa, Edward Ravasi, Aleksandr Riabushenko, Ben Swift, Oliviero Troia
UAE Team Emirates for Milano-Torino: Fabio Aru, Andrea Bagioli, Rui Costa, Filippo Ganna, Daniel Martin, Jan Polanc, Rory Sutherland
UAE Team Emirates for Gran Piemonte: Filippo Ganna, Marco Marcato, Manuele Mori, Simone Petilli, Edward Ravasi, Rory Sutherland, Nicolás Tivani