Rui Costa ‘excited and motivated’ as UAE Team Emirates prepare for Giro d’Italia debut

Abu Dhabi Tour winner Rui Costa “will give it everything” to win stages at the Giro d’Italia as he prepares to lead UAE Team Emirates at the race’s 100th edition.

Rui Costa will make his Giro d'Italia debut when the race starts on Friday. Courtesy UAE Team Emirates
Powered by automated translation

Abu Dhabi Tour winner Rui Costa “will give it everything” to win stages at the Giro d’Italia as he prepares to lead UAE Team Emirates at the race’s 100th edition.

Starting in Alghero on Friday and concluding in Milan on May 28, the first Grand Tour of the season will comprise 3,615.4 kilometres over 21 stages, made up of eight medium mountain stages, five high mountain stages, six sprint stages, and two individual time trials.

Costa, a three-time stage winner at the Tour de France, will be making his Giro d’Italia debut and is confident of his chances of contending for the Maglia Rosa — the famous winner’s Pink Jersey.

“This will be my first participation at the Giro, I’m excited, motivated and looking forward to a competitive debut at the 100th edition of this race,” Costa, 30, said.

“I believe that there are some stages with courses that are suited to my strengths. I’ve recently undergone altitude training on Mount Etna in preparation for the Giro. Of course a victory during my debut in this special edition of the race would be incredible and I will give it everything I have to win some stages this year.”

Joining Costa in the UAE Team Emirates line-up are sprinter Sacha Modolo and Jan Polanc, both of whom claimed stage wins at the 2015 Giro.

Marco Marcato, Matej Mohoric, Valerio Conti, Roberto Ferrari, Simone Petilli, and Edward Ravasi complete the team.

“For an Italian rider, the Giro d’Italia is the dream,” Modolo said. “I’m fortunate to have previously won two stages at the Giro and I cant wait to be able to race there again and hopefully relive the incredible rush I felt when winning.

“I am hoping to be the leader of my nation’s race and be able to don the Pink Jersey. We have a strong line-up and I am relying on a team effort to put me in a great position for the sprints”.

The Giro d’Italia has been held annually since its first edition in 1909. The Giro is one of three three-week Grand Tours that include the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.

“We are proud to be the first team representing the UAE at the Giro,” UAE Team Emirates Sporting Director Orlando Maini said.

“We have tried to strike a balance in selecting the sprinters and climbers for the team. Rui is a top rider and does well in all of the races he takes part in.

“We’ve had a good run up to the Giro with a strong squad and the preparation has gone well. The average age of the members of team is around 26 with young riders such as Ravasi, Petilli, Conti and Mohoric.

“We want to get the best performance possible and try to win some stages, if not the race.”

* Agencies

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE

Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport