Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates) will test his legs out at the GP Lugano this weekend, racing for the first time since undergoing an operation on his iliac artery. Aru will be joined by rising star and Tour of California winner, Tadej Pogacar and maglia rosa wearer Jan Polanc.
Aru says that the one-day race will give him an opportunity see how his recovery has gone and plan the next stage in his training.
"I've followed the prescribed rehabilitation program to recuperate physical strength after the surgery. I've had nothing but good sensations and I haven't encountered any problems," said Aru. "In light of this and in agreement with the medical and technical staff, we have decided that it will be useful to participate in the GP Lugano to try out my racing rhythm. After that we will evaluate the situation to see what our next step should be."
Aru had angioplasty surgery on his leg in April after doctors discovered a constriction of the iliac artery in his left leg, which forced him to miss the Giro d'Italia. The procedure involved putting a balloon catheter inside the artery and was completed with a stent.
Aru endured a difficult start to the season and has not raced since he abandoned Paris-Nice on stage 3 at the beginning of March. He had been due to ride the Volta a Catalunya but pulled out of that when he was diagnosed with the artery problem.
The GP Lugano is 185.6 kilometres long and consists of eight laps of a lumpy course including one classified climb, the Via Monte Croce. Previous winners include Sonny Colbrelli, Niccolo Bonifazio and Ivan Basso. It will be the first time that Aru has ridden the Swiss race.
As well as Slovenian pairing of Pogacar and Polanc, the team will have Diego Ulissi. The race is suited to a sprinter who can climb and the Italian has twice been on the podium, finishing second to Colbrelli in 2016 and finishing third in 2014.
Completing the line-up is Tom Bohli, Marco Marcato and Aleksandr Riabushenko.
UAE Team Emirates for the GP Lugano: Fabio Aru, Diego Ulissi, Tadej Pogacar, Jan Polanc, Niccolo Bonifazio, Tom Bohli, Marco Marcato and Aleksandr Riabushenko.