Dubai, UAE, September 13, 2017: After more than 3,000km of arduous racing through France, Andorra and Spain, UAE Team Emirates wrapped-up their first Vuelta a España on Sunday, marking the culmination of a successful debut for the new team at the three historic Grand Tours. The third and final of the three most prestigious races on the UCI WorldTour, the 2017 Vuelta provided 21 challenging stages and saw UAE Team Emirates achieve a stage victory, several top five and top ten finishes, and a 12th place General Classification (GC) finish for South African rider Louis Meintjes.
Stand-out performer for the team was Matej Mohoric - the Slovenian rider produced some exceptional displays that saw him to a famous win on stage seven and a top five finish on stage five.
Also in fine form in Spain was Mohoric’s compatriot, Jan Polanc, who earned a podium spot with second place on stage eight, a top five on stage six, and a top ten finish on stage 12.
Following on from his breakthrough performance at the Tour de France in July, UAE Team Emirates’ Colombian climbing specialist, Darwin Atapuma, continued his impressive summer with a series of strong attacking displays. The 29 year old was first to the summit on two of the five categorized climbs on stage six (the Alto de Chirivilla and Puerto del Oronet), and later secured a creditable top ten finish on stage 11 where he led the breakaway on the penultimate climb up the Alto de Velefique, only to be caught by the chasing peloton on the ascent of the Calar Alto.
Elsewhere, there were notable performances from Portuguese Rui Costa and Italian Sacha Modolo. Costa picked up a top five finish in the restricted sprint at the end of stage 19, while Modolo finished fifth on stage two and sixth on stage four to help contribute to a positive first week for the team.
Passing through three countries – France, Andorra and Spain – riders who completed all 21 stages covered a total of 3,324km. This year’s Vuelta featured nine summit finishes, including the 13.3km long ascent to Alto de l’Angliru on the penultimate stage of the race. Setting off from Nîmes, the first two stages of La Vuelta were contested in France before the peloton crossed the Pyrenees towards Andorra and across the northern Spanish coast ending in the stunning Spanish city of Madrid.
UAE Team Emirates will next compete at the Coppa Bernocchi in Italy on 14 September 2017 and the World Championships on 20 & 24 September.