Dan Martin skips Amstel to focus on Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege

Dan Martin will skip Amstel Gold Race on Sunday before returning to lead the line for UAE Team Emirates at La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège

Martin, a former winner of Liège and a multiple podium finisher at Flèche, has never fared quite so well at Amstel. In seven participations, he has finished the race just twice. 

This year, he will skip the Dutch Classic to focus on the races the following Wednesday and Sunday. After a disappointing Ardennes Classics campaign in his first season with UAE Team Emirates, the Irishman will be out to put that right. 

Martin, who won Liège in 2013, has never cracked Flèche, finishing on the podium three times behind Alejandro Valverde, and a further two times in the top six. Prior to his difficult start to life at UAE, he finished runner-up at both Flèche and Liège - after a DNF at Amstel - in his final season with QuickStep. 

Martin has had a solid start to the season but showcased his growing form with second overall at the recent Tour of the Basque Country. 

In Martin's absence, UAE Team Emirates will be led at Amstel by former world champion Rui Costa, alongside puncheur Diego Ulissi, new signing Sergio Henao, and young sensation Tadej Pogacar. Costa is a perennial presence in the Ardennes, while Henao adds another dimension with a runner-up and fourth place at Flèche to his name, along with two top 10's apiece at Liège and Amstel. 

Meanwhile the team insist Pogacar is making his Ardennes debut for a learning experience. However, the Tour de l'Avenir champion has shown already in his first season as a professional that he doesn't need much time to bed in, with overall victory at the Volta ao Algarve and sixth overall in the Basque Country. 

"We face the Ardennes triple with a formation that offers so many possibilities to be protagonists and to fight for important results: winning is very difficult because these three races are coveted and the competition is at a high level, but our team is well balanced and equipped well for our ambitions," said team manager Joxean Matxin. 

"For Pogačar, this week will be an important experience, he will race without pressure and will have the chance to measure his talents in these races. Petilli and Ravasi will definitely give a spark to the team in the Amstel Gold Race, while the experience of Mori and Sutherland will be important in Flèche and Liège."

UAE Team Emirates for Amstel Gold Race: Rui Costa (Por), Sergio Henao (Col), Manuele Mori (Ita), Simone Petilli (Ita), Tadej Pogačar (Slo), Edward Ravasi (Ita), Diego Ulissi (Ita)

UAE Team Emirates for La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Rui Costa (Por), Sergio Henao (Col), Daniel Martin (Irl), Manuele Mori (Ita), Tadej Pogačar (Slo), Rory Sutherland (Aus), Diego Ulissi (Ita) 

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