Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) has confirmed to Cyclingnews that he will race Paris-Nice. The French stage race has been added to the Italian's race schedule as he gears up to resurrect his stage racing career after a difficult 2018.
Aru will compete in the eight-day French race before taking on Catalunya later in March. He will then travel to Colorado and train at altitude for three weeks under the guidance of head trainer Inigo San Milan, who was brought onboard at the start of the year to improve the team's backroom staff.
"I want to put more race miles into my legs. After Catalunya I'll go to altitude for a long period, and it's going to be a long period without races. It's good now to add one more race so that's why I'm going to Paris-Nice," Aru told Cyclingnews after an intense day of wind tunnel testing organized by his team and Drag2Zero, which runs the testing facility.
UAE Team Emirates have yet to announce their full line-up for Paris-Nice, but their roster will include former race winner Sergio Henao and one-day specialist and sprinter Alexander Kristoff. Aru is not in top shape, but he will use Paris-Nice as a key stepping stone as he builds towards the Giro d'Italia in May. If Henao is in a good position on GC, then Aru will have no problems working for his new teammate.
Aru finished 29th at the Volta ao Algarve last month but showed some encouraging signs with 19th in the individual time trial.
"I'll take things day-by-day in Paris-Nice and just see how my legs are going," Aru said. "I want to see how I respond to the racing there, but I'm going there because it gives me more recovery than if I do Tirreno-Adriatico. There's a week between Paris-Nice and Catalunya, but if I do to Tirreno then I only have five days in between. That's too short.
"I'll be there with Sergio Henao, Alexander Kristoff, Ulissi, Bystrom but I'm not sure who else. It will be my first race with Sergio since he joined the team. I'm looking forward to helping him if that's needed."