UAE Team Emirates is mixing tradition with fresh ingredients for its first outing of the 2019 season. The Australian race kicks off the cycling season for the WorldTour teams, starting with the usual Down Under Classic criterium two days before on January 13. The tour begins on January 15 and ends with something new. Instead of a flat sprinters’ stage, the Willunga Hill stage now concludes the Tour Down Under on January 20. The uphill finale will ensure suspense throughout the final metres of the 2019 event.
For UAE Team Emirates’s first 2019 race, Neil Stephens (Australia) will guide the seven-man team.
– Sven Erik Bystrøm (Norway)
– Ivo Oliveira (Portugal)
– Jasper Philipsen (Belgium)
– Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia)
– Jan Polanc (Slovenia)
– Rory Sutherland (Australia)
– Diego Ulissi (Italy)
The Australian race marks the debut in the team for Ivo Oliveira (22 years old), Jasper Philipsen and Tadej Pogacar (both 20). Diego Ulissi has the richest palmarès of the team in the Tour Down Under with one stage win and two second places, and three times top five in the overall classification.
“I’m motivated to start the season again in Australia, it’s a beautiful race given the course and the high level of participants,” Ulissi said “Given the competitors, it’s a must to arrive in Australia with good training if you want to be up in the classification battle and in the tough stages. I had a good winter and I worked to be competitive in this first race. It will be very interesting to see how the new arrangement of stages, with the final Willunga Hill stage, will affect the race.“