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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Dan Martin and Fabio Aru will have to wait to make UAE Team Emirates debuts

Pairl not part of the squad when the team embarks on their second UCI World Tour season in Australia

Alexander Kristoff, centre, is excited to be able to team up with the likes of Dan Martin, left, and Fabio Aru in 2018. Courtesy photo
Alexander Kristoff, centre, is excited to be able to team up with the likes of Dan Martin, left, and Fabio Aru in 2018. Courtesy photo

Dan Martin and Fabio Aru are bringing their professional cycling experience to the UAE Team Emirates but the pair will not be part of the squad when the team embarks on their second UCI World Tour season in Australia.

The six-day event at the Santos Tour Down Under gets underway on Tuesday, but both Martin and Aru will have to wait to make their debuts for their new team.

The Volta ao Algarve in Portugal in February remains a likely first target for Englishman Martin who crossed over from the Belgian team Etixx–Quick-Step on a two-year deal.

Aru, who joined the Emirates team from Astana of Kazakhstan on a three-year deal last October, is expected to make his debut at next month's Abu Dhabi Tour.

“The opportunity to join an ambitious group and use my experience to create a team capable of challenging the best in the world was one that I couldn't refuse,” Martin said.

Martin, 31, who holds both British and Irish citizenship, believes he is entering the most important years of his career and is looking to challenge for race honours with UAE Team Emirates.

“I'm sure I'll receive that throughout the season,” he said. “I was always competitive in such races as the Ardenne Classics and in 2018 too they'll be top appointments, in addition to the Tour de France, which is a race that I liked a lot ...”

Martin said as well as targeting race wins he was looking to help UAE Team Emirates promote cycling as part of a healthy lifestyle.

“This is more than a team. We are working with our partners to not only promote the sport I love, but encourage a healthy lifestyle and the positive impact two wheels has on a global scale,” he said.

Aru, 27, said his decision to leave Astana, a team he had won stages at the Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana with as well as the Young Rider Classification at the Giro d'Italia, required “careful consideration”.

“Now that I have made the move, I'll do my best to bring my skills as climber to the team and my will to race in a way that could excite the fans,” the Italian said.

“It's good to have a long-term project with the team, I hope this three-year period is full of many successes.”

Representing the UAE Team Emirates in Australia are former World Champion Rui Costa, alongside teammates Matteo Bono, Simone Consonni, Roberto Ferrari, Marco Marcato, Manuele Mori and Diego Ulissi.