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UAE Team Emirates aiming high in Tour of Flanders after morale-boosting podium

WEVELGEM BELGIUM MARCH 28 Podium Wout Van Aert of Belgium and Team Jumbo Visma Matteo Trentin of Italy and UAE Team Emirates Celebration during the 83rd GentWevelgem in Flanders Fields 2021 Mens Elite a 254km race from Ypres to Wevelgem Celebration Social distancing Mask Covid Safety Measures GWE21 GWEmen FlandersClassic on March 28 2021 in Wevelgem Belgium Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) on the podium at Gent-Wevelgem with winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

UAE Team Emirates are still looking for their first major one-day race victory since 2019 but have gained an important morale boost after Matteo Trentin's third place in Gent-Wevelgem this weekend.

Trentin will be joined by Alexander Kristoff, winner of the Tour of Flanders in 2015 in both Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Tour of Flanders along with Rui Oliveira, Vegard Stake Laengen, Ryan Gibbons and Sven Erik Bystrøm. Mikkel Bjerg completes the team for the Tour of Flanders while Ivo Oliveira will be the seventh man for Dwars door Vlaanderen. Allan Peiper and Fabio Baldato will direct in both WorldTour events.

UAE Team Emirates' last victory in a one-day WorldTour race came in 2019 when Kristoff won Gent-Wevelgem. The squad have already enjoyed two stage race wins this season thanks to Tadej Pogačar, who kept his Tour de France-winning momentum from 2020 going into this year. The Slovenian won a stage and the overall classification of the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico, and will lead the team next month in the Ardennes Classics.

"I think we're coming in with good morale and confidence after Gent-Wevelgem," Trentin said. "I'm in great shape and the other guys are also getting stronger as the classics continue. Bystrøm was up there in the move with me last weekend and we all know what Kristoff is capable of doing in a race like Flanders, so I think our options are good."

The team suffered a setback when sprinter Fernando Gaviria crashed during the E3 Saxo Bank Classic and fractured the scaphoid bone in his hand, which will keep him out of action for the next month.

UAE Team Emirates for Dwars door Vlaanderen: Sven Erik Bystrom, Ryan Gibbons, Alexander Kristoff, Vegard Stake Laengen, Ivo Oliveira, Rui Oliveira, Matteo Trentin

UAE Team Emirates for Tour of Flanders: Mikkel Bjerg, Sven Erik Bystrom, Ryan Gibbons, Alexander Kristoff, Vegard Stake Laengen, Rui Oliveira, Matteo Trentin