UAE Team Emirates new recruit Dan Martin will get his 2018 season into gear with an appearance alongside Ben Swift at the Volta ao Algarve in Portugal in February
Both riders were named on UAE Team Emirates’ provisional start list for the Portuguese stage race, which takes place over February 14-18.
Martin will lead the squad in the Algarve as he prepares to take on leadership duties at the 2018 Tour de France after switching teams from Quick-Step Floors for 2018.
Martin finished sixth in the 2017 Tour – his best ever Grand Tour placing – despite sustaining fractured vertebrae as a result of a crash on stage nine with Richie Porte.
For Swift, it’s his second season in UAE Team Emirates colours having moved from Team Sky for 2017.
Martin and Swift join team-mates Valerio Conti, Edward Ravasi, Vegard Stake Laengen, Jan Polanc and Rory Sutherland, according to the Volta ao Algarve’s organiser.
The UCI 2.1-ranked race has traditionally attracted a strong field of riders, eager to take advantage of its challenging course ahead of the spring and summer’s big targets.
Last, year the event was won by Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo) with Welshman Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) having claimed the 2015 and 2016 editions. Other recent former winners include Tony Martin, Michał Kwiatkowski, Richie Porte and Alberto Contador.
Martin is currently in Syracuse, Sicily for a team training camp.
Volta ao Algarve 2018 stages
Stage one, February 14, lbufeira to Lagos, 192.6km
Stage two, February 15, Sagres to Fóia (Monchique), 187.9km
Stage three, February 16, Lagoa to Lagoa, 20.3km (ITT)
Stage four, February 17, Almodôvar to Tavira, 199.2km
Stage five, February 18, Faro to Malhão (Loulé), 173.5km