UAE Team Emirates’ duo Louis Meinjtes and Diego Ulissi are focused on achieving strong results at this week’s Tour de Romandie which starts on Tuesday, April 25 with a Prologue time-trial in Aigle, Switzerland, and finishes five days later in Lausanne.
The full UAE Team Emirates line-up includes Matteo Bono, Anass Ait El Abdia, Ben Swift, Diego Ulissi, Louis Meinjtes, Oliviero Troia, Simone Consonni and Manuele Mori.
The Tour De Romandie takes place throughout the Romandie region, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland.
Simone Pedrazzini, Sporting Director for UAE Team Emirates, is hopeful ahead of the race: "The Meintjes-Ulissi duo is aiming for the top of the General Classification, weather permitting.
We are hoping for good weather as the race’s technical corners may provide more of an obstacle, especially if it rains - and it almost always rains at the Tour de Romandie. There are also a couple of arrivals which are suitable for Ulissi."
Swift will be back to race after the unlucky injury suffered before the Amstel Gold Race, which caused him to withdraw and miss some training days. However, we will rely on Simone Consonni for the two time-trial stages, Pedrazzini added.
The race also has a number of challenging climbs which UAE Team Emirates’ Louis Meintjes hopes that will allow him to make an impression on the GC.
The South African rider is confident ahead of the race: "It's important to assess my form and competitiveness on short stage races such as the Tour de Romandie. It will be great if I’m able to perform as well as I did at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.
The second stage is one of the key stages, so I hope that I'll be able to rely on good legs made strong after participating in two of the Ardennes Classics."
Joining South African Meinjtes, who placed eighth in the 2016 Tour De France, will be teammate Diego Ulissi, one of only two riders to have won the Junior World Championships in consecutive years - 2006 and 2007.
"Tour de Romandie’s courses are demanding, so it will be an intense week," said the Italian all-rounder. "Those who are aiming for a top result in the General Classification must come from the Ardennes Classics with good form.
I am looking forward to the race and I believe that my own form will aid me in achieving a good result for the team, our sponsors and for myself by earning some points for the World Tour ranking."