Dubai, UAE, January 21, 2018: UAE Team Emirates' Diego Ulissi narrowly missed out on a podium finish at the opening race of the UCI World Tour 2018 season, as the Italian finished fourth at the Santos Tour Down Under, just four seconds off third-place and 20 behind the eventual winner, Mitchelton-Scott's, Daryl Impey.
UAE Team Emirates' riders who claimed top 10 finishes in all but one of the tour's stages included; Simone Consonni (5th – stage one, 4th – stage three and 7th – stage six) Diego Ulissi (4th - stage four and 7th – stage five) and Rui Costa (8th - stage four), giving the team plenty of reason to be positive for the season ahead.
Standing either side of South African, Impey on the podium were BMC Racing Team's Richie Porte, who claimed second place and Dimension Data's Tom-Jelte Slagter, who picked up third place respectively.
Commenting on the result and his first race of the season, UAE Team Emirates' Diego Ulissi said: “I'm satisfied with how I was able to perform during the entire week. The 4th place in the classification is a sign that I worked well over the winter and that my legs are already in good shape. In the Santos Tour Down Under, if you aren't quick on your feet, it's really hard to get good results. It was nice to work in perfect harmony with the entire team and we performed well in all the stages and hope that this will be the start of a season that will bring memorable cycling moments to our fans and our sponsors. Now I can get back to concentrating on training so I can be at my best for the next competitive event, the Abu Dhabi Tour'.
Santos Tour Down Under: General Classification Results
1. Daryl Impey (SA) – Mitchelton-Scott – 20:03:34
2. Richie Porte (NZ) – BMC Racing team – “
3. Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ndl) – Dimension Data – 00:16
4. Diego Ulissi (Ita) – UAE Team Emirates – 00:20