UAE Team Emirates will head into Saturday's Il Lombardia with a roster that includes a former winner in Dan Martin and two riders who have come close to success previously in the 'Race of the Falling Leaves.'
Martin won the race in 2014 ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) after placing second in 2011 and fourth in 2013. His teammate Rui Costa was third behind Valverde in 2014, and Fabio Aru has scored two top 10 finishes in the race.
The team are hoping their three-pronged approach to the race will result in victory this year. Martin dropped out of the Vuelta a Espana after nine stages to be with his wife when she gave birth to their first child. He returned to racing at the UCI Road World Championships, where he dropped out of the road race. Most recently, he was 16th in Milano-Torino on Wednesday.
Costa recently finished 10th in the Worlds road race after warming up with sixth at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal. He was 66th at Tre Valle Verasine earlier this week and 48th in Milano-Torino. Aru finished a disappointing 23rd at the Vuelta after crashing hard on stage 17, but he bounced back with ninth at Milano-Torino and appears to have recovered some good form in time for Saturday's Monument.
Martin, Costa and Aru will be backed in the 241km race from Bergamo to Como by Marco Marcato, Manuele Mori, Edward Ravasi and Rory Sutherland.
“Il Lombardia is a race of high importance, one of the monuments, an important appointment for our team,” said team manager Matxin Joxean Fernandez. "We have selected a high-level group for such a prestigious race. Our seven riders have talent and quality to be protagonists and to pull in results. We have faith in our riders, also knowing that it’s going to be hard battle given the high level of competition.”
UAE Team Emirates for Il Lombardia: Fabio Aru, Rui Costa, Marco Marcato, Daniel Martin, Manuele Mori, Edward Ravasi, Rory Sutherland