Dubai: UAE champion Yousuf Mirza will mark his return to UAE Team Emirates for the upcoming Italian one-day races — the Coppa Agostoni (on Saturday) and the Coppa Bernocchi (Sunday).
Joining Mirza after his participation at last month’s Asian Games in Jakarta will be a number of fresh faces making their team debuts including Alessandro Covi, Nicolas Tivani and Andrea Bagioli.
Covi and Bagioli will pull on the UAE Team Emirates colours for the first time at the Coppa Agostoni, while Tivani will make his debut at the Coppa Bernocchi the on Monday.
Completing the line-ups for the two races will be the Kristijan Durasek, Oliviero Troia, Filippo Ganna and Matteo Bono, while Italian Sports Director, Marco Marzano will guide the team.
Commenting ahead of the race, Marzano said: “The Coppa Agostoni and the Coppa Bernocchi are two challenging races in which all our riders will get the chance to improve their physical form. Since we are without a single captain, we will have to race competitively, being careful to look out for breaks or for possible moves to make in the final parts of the race. With their experience, Bono and Durasek will have to manage Ganna and Troia, as well as guiding the trainees Bagioli, Covi and Tivani.”
The first of the races — the Coppa Agostoni — will be played out on an identical course to last year. The 200km route will see the peloton set off from Lissone on a 65km ride, before taking in four 24km circuits of the town. Once the circuits are complete, the group will head back towards Macherio for exciting bunch sprint finish.
The following day, the Coppa Bernocchi will run a similar format — a 195km route through northern Italy, where riders will encounter six loops of a 16.7km circuit, before heading for the finish.