UAE Team Emirates Season Review
Updated: Dec 29, 2019
UAE isn't a team that's been designed for the cobbles, although having some riders that have ridden strong the expectations weren't high, the opening weekend had no results, but then it changed as the sprinters of the team performed brilliantly, firstly Gaviria took second in De Panne then both Kristoff took a strong win in Gent-Wevelgem after a strategical place by the duo, and then he hung onto the favourites group to finish third in Flandres.
In the road there was a solid start in Australia and then too in Mallorca, Milano Sanremo saw Kristoff finish fourtheenth, there weren't many highlights until the Ardennes where Diego Ulissi finished on the podium of Flèche with results around the Top15 in the other two. Kristoff also took third place in Frankfurt his usual winning grounds.
Jasper Philipsen delivered the first win of the season in Down Under, quickly wins followed in San Juan, Colombia and Oman, followed by an overall and stage win in the Algarve by the team's new wonder kid Tadej Pogacar. Rui Costa finished Tirreno in tenth, in Basque Country then it was a case of depth with Dan Martin finishing second overall and Pogacar in sixth. Then there were surprising runner-up places in both the Tour of Turkey and then Romandie from Valerio Conti and Rui Costa, before the team took it's first WT stage-race in the season with Pogacar rulling California, with a stage to his name aswell.
There was a win overall and stage too in Norway, a win in GP Lugano (one-day race), an eighth place in the Dauphiné from Dan Martin and a thirteenth from Sergio Henao in Suisse, with a seventh too in Adriatica Ionica. Diego Ulissi later on also managed to get a third place in Pologne after a win in the Tour of Slovenia overall in June aswell.
The Giro went amazinly, with Gaviria taking a stage win and the mountain core, with no real leader, pulling pink with two different riders over the course of several days and still taking fourteenth overall, in the Tour we saw the same overall result but a completely different race, with the climbers all out of sync and only Kristoff almost managing to take a win.
In the Vuelta though the tables were turned and in what way, the bulk of the team failing again but Pogacar, almost alone flying absolutely, so young and he took a whole trio of mountain stages and a third place overall with the U25 classification aswell, a brilliant Vuelta for the team I can say it.
With a seventh palce in RideLondon and a fourth in Hamburg Kristoff was still on a roll and consistent, in Canada there was a fourth and second place from a very powerful Diego Ulissi who had a magnificent season, stage wins in Deutschland and Slovakia had some impact, a win in Coppa Agostini too from Riabushenko. From there on it was smooth sailing into the end of the season where Gaviria still netted two wins in Guangxi after a rough season. Through the month there were some nice results with seven more Top10's to the team's record.
Wins (WT): 29 (8)
Highlight: Pogacar's trio of stage wins at the Vuelta
Best Performer: Tadej Pogacar
Biggest Surprise: Tadej Pogacar
Negative Surprise: Sergio Henao