UAE Team Emirates have confirmed that Fabio Aru will target the Giro d'Italia in 2019, with his build-up for the corsa rosa including limited racing and a training camp at altitude in Colorado close to the base of the team's new head coach Iñigo San Millan.
Aru had suggested the Tour de France route suited him better but Dan Martin is again expected to lead UAE Team Emirates in France in July, with Fernando Gaviria and Alexander Kristoff targeting the sprints.
Aru struggled during the 2018 season and was unable to fight for the overall classification at the Giro, eventually quitting the race during stage 19. Tests confirmed that he was not suffering with any specific illness but he was unable to get his season back on track at the Vuelta a España.
In recent weeks UAE Team Emirates has undergone a management shake-up, with team manager Giuseppe Saronni stepping back. Allan Peiper and Neil Stephens have been hired as new directeurs sportifs, with Iñigo San Millan leading the new coaching staff and South Africa's Jeroen Swart the new medical director. Former rider Paolo Tiralongo is no longer Aru's coach but remains as a directeur sportif.
"You can imagine my desire to do well during this year's corsa rosa after not being able to enjoy the last edition. I really want to repay the sponsors, fans and organisers who have continued to believe in me in these last months.
"The Giro route offers lots of climbing, balanced with the number of time trial kilometres. We line up at the start physically and technically ready so we can do as well as possible.
Aru will make his 2019 season debut at the Challenge Mallorca series of one-day race at the end of January. He will then ride the Volta ao Algarve (Feb 20-24) and the Volta a Catalunya (March 25-31). He will train at altitude in Colorado in April, with UAE Team Emirates describing the camp as “his final step ahead of the Giro.”
The team added that the Giro d'Italia “marks the end of Aru's first chapter of the 2019 season" but did not give details of any other season goals.