Dan Martin, Aru and Kristoff to start season at Challenge Mallorca

Dan Martin and Fabio Aru will start their 2019 seasons later this week at the Challenge Mallorca, which takes place from January 31 to February 3. The UAE Team Emirates Grand Tour leaders will ride two races apiece across the four-day event, while Alexander Kristoff will also kick off his campaign on the Balearic Island.

Aru, who recently confirmed that he will target the Giro d’Italia in 2019, will line out in the Trofeo Ses Salines, Campos, Porreres, Felanitx on Thursday and then tackle the hilly Trofeo de Tramuntana two days later.

Martin is expected to target the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de France once again in 2019. He will race on two consecutive days in Mallorca, tackling the Trofeo Andratx Loseta on Friday before riding the Trofeo de Tramuntana the following day.

The Irishman is scheduled to compete at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana from February 6-10, while the Volta ao Algarve (February 20-24) will be Aru’s first stage race of the year.

Before lining out at the Challenge Mallorca, Aru and Martin will join former world champion Rui Costa at the Palma velodrome in Mallorca on Tuesday to carry out testing on the Colnago K One time trial bike.

Alexander Kristoff will race on three of the four days in Mallorca, missing out only the Trofeo de Tramuntana.

"The Challenge Mallorca takes a certain importance given that we have 12 riders heading there," said UAE Team Emirates directeur sportif Marco Marzano. "We have to see how the four days go and see on the road at what point we are in our training from the winter and not focus too much on results in the race.

"The 12 cyclists will rotate in the races, with five riders not competing each day but training under the guidance of our coaches. On top of that, we have the testing day on the velodrome. We are sure that this Mallorca trip will help us in our overall 2019 plan."

UAE Team Emirates for Challenge Mallorca

Trofeo Ses Salines, Campos, Porreres, Felanitx, January 31: Fabio Aru, Alexander Kristoff, Vegard Stake Laengen, Marco Marcato, Yousif Mirza, Manuele Mori, Rui Oliveira.

Trofeo Andratx Loseta, February 1: Kristian Durasek, Alexander Kristoff , Vegard Stake Laengen, Daniel Martin, Simone Petilli, Edward Ravasi, Aleksandr Riabushenko

Trofeo de Tramuntana, February 2: Fabio Aru, Kristian Durasek, Daniel Martin, Yousif Mirza, Simone Petilli, Edward Ravasi, Aleksandr Riabushenko.

Trofeo Palma, February 3: Kristian Durasek, Alexander Kristoff, Vegard Stake Laengen, Marco Marcato, Manuele Mori, Rui Oliveira 

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