UAE Team Emirates win team classification title at Tour Down Under
Diego Ulissi places highest for the team in the General Classification standings with a ninth-place finish
UAE Team Emirates have started their 2019 UCI World Tour season in style by winning the team classification in their first event at the Tour Down Under.
The seven-stage race in Australia, which began on January 13 and concluded on Sunday, awards the team competition title to the team with the best combined time after each stage, with this year's prize going to UAE Team Emirates.
Italian Diego Ulissi led the way for the team in the General Classification, finishing ninth overall, 40 seconds behind tour winner Daryl Impey of Mitchelton Scott.
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Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, a new arrival at UAE Team Emirates, was next best-placed for the team, coming in 13th, with compatriot Jan Polanc just behind in 17th.
As well as success on the overall tour, UAE Team Emirates also celebrated a stage win when Belgian Jasper Philipsen claimed Stage 5 after a sprint finish.
“It was a beautiful result for UAE Team Emirates. To get on the podium as the best team in the first World Tour race of the year is amazing,” said sports director Neil Stephens.
“Today we achieved more goals that we were after. We wanted to take the team classification but to try to be in the best possible spots in the individual classification.
"We achieved that considering that we have three riders in the top 15 of the classification, with Ulissi in the top 10.
"The great work that characterises this group added up over the week. It’s an important factor that will show positively in the next wave of competitions."
UAE Team Emirates will next be in World Tour action at their home race - the inaugural UAE Tour. The seven-stage tour begins on February 24 and concludes on March 3.
Updated: January 21, 2019 01:37 PM