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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Rui Costa and Ben Swift return for UAE Team Emirates at London-Surrey Classic

Pair will be joined by Ulissi, Consonni, Ganna, Bystrom and Laengen in the one-day race

Ben Swift is hoping for a successful return to the UK at the London-Surrey Classic. Courtesy UAE Team Emirates
Ben Swift is hoping for a successful return to the UK at the London-Surrey Classic. Courtesy UAE Team Emirates

Rui Costa and Ben Swift will make their returns to competitive cycling on Sunday at the London-Surrey Classic after UAE Team Emirates named their line-up for the one-day race.

Portugal's former world champion Costa, who last raced at the Tour de Romandie in April, has recovered from injury to take his place in the team.

“I’m finally getting back to racing. I’d like to thank the team and medical staff for having provided the utmost care regarding my ongoing knee problem," Costa, 31, said.

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"Now I feel ready to get back into the pack and contribute to the team in this second part of the season. For me the Prudential Ride London-Surrey Classic has become a very important event.”

Swift is also making his first appearance for UAE Team Emirates after a lengthy absence, and is hoping to impress on home soil.

“I can’t wait to race in London. The race will coincide with my return to racing after some time off and this is a special event for me," the 30-year-old Englishman said.

"I have great memories of all the times I participated on the roads of the English capital. The aim is to be able to have the necessary strength in my legs to compete for a decent result.

"I’ve garnered two podiums in this race during my career, with a second and third place; I wouldn’t mind filling in that last missing step.”

Costa and Swift will be joined by Italians Diego Ulissi, Simone Consonni and Filippo Ganna, and Norwegian pair Sven Erik Bystrom and Vegard Stake Laengen, who was recently crowned Norwegian National Champion.

The 183-kilometre return route from London to Surrey will be similar to the course used for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Starting at St James' Park in central London, the riders will exit the capital to the west before heading to Surrey and a hillier landscape.

With just one official climb at Box Hill, a breakaway is unlikely and a sprint finish is expected on The Mall.