Kristoff moved to his new team in the off-season having spent six largely successful years at Katusha. He was replaced by Marcel Kittel, with the pair just two of a highly competitive sprint field that will race the Dubai Tour from February 6-10.
The race will offer the first opportunity to see Kittel, Kristoff, Mark Cavendish, John Degenkolb, Elia Viviani and several other fast men compete against each other this year. Kristoff, although making his debut in the race, is no stranger to racing in the Middle East, having won six stage of the Tour of Qatar while the race was still in existence.
"I can't wait to start my season with the new team. This will be my first time racing in the Dubai Tour. I really like the idea, because when I went to the United Arab Emirates for holidays I discovered that it’s a wonderful place," the Norwegian said in a press release issued by his new team.
"It’s going to be a very competitive race; there will be a lot of top notch sprinters. It will be fantastic if we manage to win a stage. It’s always nice to start off a season on a positive note.”
Kirstoff will be joined by a strong UAE Team Emirates squad including compatriot Sven Erik Bystrøm. Filippo Ganna and Matteo Bono add further lead-out experience, while Simone Consonni, Anass Ait El Abdia and Yousif Mirza make up the rest of the squad.
Mirza made his WorldTour debut with the team at the Dubai Tour last year and is looking forward to returning once more.
"I'm as excited as I was for the 2017 edition, when the Dubai Tour marked my first race with the team. I am very motivated and I really want to give it my all for the team.
"Last year I made a break in the second stage; we’ll see if I will be able to make the most of my skills as an attacker in this edition as well."