Italian national champion Fabio Aru says that he has made the 'important decision' to ride in the 2018 Giro d'Italia in May
The 27-year-old Italian national road race champion had been mooted late last year to ride the Giro, leading UAE Team Emirates in the three-week Grand Tour.
However, it was only on Monday that Aru finally stated that he would line up for the race in a brief statement issued on his personal website.
“My choice to participate to the Giro d’Italia has been done with conviction, evaluating all the variables: I wanted to ponder well this important decision, constructively confronting myself with the team,” said Aru.
“I’m happy to go back on the roads of the Giro which, for an Italian athlete, is a race that offers special emotions.
In addition, this year I will participate with the Italian national champion jersey on the shoulders: one more reason to honor the ‘Corsa Rosa’.”
It will be the first time that Aru has raced in his home tour since 2015, when he finished as runner-up Spaniard Alberto Contador. That was Aru’s second appearance on the Giro’s podium after his breakthrough ride in the 2014 race which saw him place third.
Aru won the Vuelta a España in 2015, proving his Grand Tour winning ability.
In the past two seasons, Aru has focussed on the Tour de France, where he finished fifth in 2017.
No firm announcement has been made as to whether Aru will tackle the 2018 Tour. He was joined on UAE Team Emirates roster by GC rider Daniel Martin for 2018, and it is possible that both could ride the Tour.
Aru will face stiff competition in the 2018 Giro, as he will line up against defending champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) and Chris Froome (Team Sky) – pending the latter’s unresolved case for an adverse analytical finding for salbutamol at the 2017 Vuelta.
The 2018 Giro d’Italia starts in Jerusalem, Israel on Friday, May 4, and concludes three weeks later in Rome on Sunday, May 27.
Aru will make his 2018 race debut at the Abu Dhabi Tour, starting on Wednesday, February 21.