Dubai, UAE, October 2, 2017: UAE Team Emirates continued their pursuit of a victory in the latest Italian day races, as Colombian Diego Ulissi finished seventh at the Giro dell'Emilia on Saturday, whilst Italian Simone Consonni finished ninth at the Gran Premio Bruno Beghelli on Sunday.
Ulissi caught the eye with his performance on the 223km route from Bologna to San Luca, finishing 26 seconds behind winner, Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team).
It was a similar story during Sunday's race as teammate Consonni was unfortunate to not land a podium finish. The UAE Team Emirates rider crossed the line with the peloton, just six seconds behind the eventual winner, Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team). UAE Team Emirates teammate Federico Zurlo also produced a strong ride to finish in 11th place.
Commenting on his top 10 finish, UAE Team Emirates' Consonni said; “I tried hard to keep the pace with the front of the group during the last climb on the Zepolino hill. A small group took the lead in the race and I was in the first chasing bunch. We managed to bridge the gap on the final straight, however Luis Leon Sanchez succeeded, winning a solo counter-attack. This is my first year as a pro, I'm starting to understand all the races of the pro calendar and this will be useful for me next season.”
The team remains in Italy this week, with 14 riders set to contest the Tre Valli Varesine on Tuesday 3 October and Milano – Torino on Wednesday 4 October.
The riders set to compete during Tuesday's 193km course from Saronno to Varese include; Portuguese Rui Costa and Italian Diego Ulissi. The duo will be joined by Croatian Kristijan Durasek, Slovenian Jan Polanc and Italian's Valerio Conti, Simone Petilli, Edward Ravasi and Oliviero Troia.
The line-up for Sunday's 186km Milano – Torino race will include; Columbian Darwin Atapuma, Norwegian Vegard Stake Laengen, Slovenian Jan Polanc and Italian's Simone Consonni, Matteo Bono, Filippo Ganna, Manuele Mori and Oliviero Troia. Both Polanc and Atapuma are expected to put in strong performances for UAE Team Emirates.
Commenting on the upcoming races, Sports Director Marco Marzano commented; “In this final part of the season, Rui Costa and Ulissi are among the riders who we can count on being in good shape. If the final in the Tre Valli Varesine is ridden intensely, they will have the chance to fight for a significant result. The route for the Milano - Torino could offer Atapuma and Polanc the chance to leave their mark.”
Ahead of Tuesday's race, UAE Team Emirates' Rui Costa added:“I will be participating in the Tre Valli Varesine for the first time. It's a race that has seen victories by top class cyclists.”
Commenting on his expectations for the races, Jan Polanc said:“The double climb on the Colle di Superga in the final part of the route makes the Milano-Torino very exciting. I've had a very busy season, but I hope my legs still have enough strength to push me towards a good performance.”