Marc Hirschi has signed for UAE Team Emirates, the team have revealed on Saturday.
The rising Swiss star, who a stage at this year’s Tour de France, left Team DSM in a shock exit announced earlier this week.
After speculation surrounding his future, UAE Team Emirates announced the arrival of the 22-year-old on Saturday. He has signed a three-year contract and is already with the team at their current training camp in the UAE.
“Firstly, I’d like to thank my previous team for everything they’ve done for me over the past three years. I am now happy to be able to say that I am joining UAE Team Emirates. I’m really excited about the move,” Hirschi said.
“We share the same approach and goals. The UAE team is moving in the right direction and have been growing a lot over the past years. I look forward to benefiting from that dynamic, both for the team and the development of my career.
“Now I’ll turn my attention to the training camp and getting to know everybody and settling in. This will be my first time ever visiting the UAE so I look forward to discovering the country.”
Hirschi’s departure from Team DSM – formerly Team Sunweb – was announced on Tuesday by the team, who stated they had “reached a settlement” with Hirschi to terminate his contract with immediate effect. No information was given on the reasons for the split.
Hirschi turned professional with the team in 2019 after winning the U23 road race title at the UCI World Championships in Austria. After a series of eye-catching displays in his neo-pro campaign, he broke through to the top of the sport in 2020, going on from his Tour de France success to win La Flèche Wallonne and podium at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the elite Worlds road race.
At UAE Team Emirates, he will join forces with Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar, with whom he could lead the line in the Ardennes Classics after they both finished on the podium at Liège this year. Hirschi is also set to target the cobbled Classics, in a squad that contains fellow new signing Matteo Trentin as well as Alexander Kristoff.
Hirschi is managed by his compatriot and multiple former Monument winner Fabian Cancellara, who said: “You cannot imagine how proud I am for that boy from my town Ittigen. To work with an athlete like Marc adds another dimension to my post career work within professional cycling.
“As advisor, it is important to me that the athlete can work in an environment that challenges and encourages in equal measure. And I know this is what he will find in his new team.”
They say the Swiss are always on time…We’re finally all here in UAE : 2021 let’s go!#UAETeamEmirates #RideTogether pic.twitter.com/5tTOpjbJEFJanuary 9, 2021