Britain’s Ben Swift will lead UAE Team Emirates as the UCI World Tour heads to Germany on Sunday for the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg.
UAE Team Emirates has announced a strong team that will be led by former Team Sky man Swift, who will line up alongside Italian teammates Diego Ulissi, Simone Consonni, Roberto Ferrari, Filippo Ganna, Marco Marcato, Oliviero Troia and Slovenian Marko Kump.
More than 750,000 spectators are reported to gather for the race, which is now in its 22nd year.
Swift, 29, said: “The EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg is usually a wide open race, with various chances to attack, although a final sprint is still the most probable outcome.
“I will try to seize the moment and the right situation to try to get into a tight group in which I can make my move during the sprint to the finish line.”
The route, which covers a total distance of 220.9km, sees riders competing on the circuit course and they will have to contend with one large lap, followed by three shorter circuit laps which will feature the Waseberg incline – the largest incline of the race – before a 15km uphill finish.
UAE Team Emirates sports manager Orlando Maini is predicting a big race for veteran Ferrari, 34.
“Usually this race is the perfect battleground for sprinters; this is why we would like to give Ferrari the chance to go up against the best sprinters of the pack,” he said.
“Roberto is always impeccable in the role of last man in the leading-train for our other speedsters, but he has always been ready when he’s been assigned a captain’s rank as well.
“The Waseberg is the only part of the route that could weed out the group; Ulissi, Swift and Marcato are going to have to be ready for it.”
This weekend also marks the start of the Vuelta a Espana, the final Grand Tour of this season’s UCI World Tour, which begins with a time trial on Saturday in the French city of Nimes – the third time in its 72-year history that the Vuelta will start from another country.