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Ulissi on form to lead UAE Team Emirates in Tour Down Under

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Diego Ulissi at the UAE team car

Diego Ulissi at the UAE team car (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)

Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Rory Sutherland (UAE Team Emirates)

Rory Sutherland (UAE Team Emirates) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mads Pedersen follows Jan Polanc in the breakaway

Mads Pedersen follows Jan Polanc in the breakaway (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

After narrowly missing the Tour Down Under podium in 2018, Italian Diego Ulissi is heading back to Adelaide on good form and with high ambitions with his UAE Team Emirates squad.

"I had a good winter and I worked to be competitive in this first race," Ulissi said. "It will be very interesting to see how the new arrangement of stages, with the Willunga Hill on the final stage, will affect the race."

Ulissi, 29, who landed on the podium in the race in 2014, is bringing momentum forward to the 2019 season from a fourth place in the Tour of Turkey last October.

"I'm motivated to start the season again in Australia. It's a beautiful race given the course and the high level of participants," he said. "Given the competitors, it's a must to arrive in Australia with some good training behind you if you want to be up there in the classification battle and on the tough stages."

He will be joined in UAE Team Emirates' Tour Down Under line-up by neo-pros Ivo Oliveira, Jasper Philipsen and Tadej Pogacar, who are making their WorldTour debut. Jan Polanc, Sven Erik Bystrom and Australian Rory Sutherland complete the team.