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UAE Team Emirates has officially announced the addition of Marc Hirschi to their team. What’s more, the former U23 World Road Champion joins the team on a three-year deal that will see him racing for UAE Team Emirates through the 2023 season.
Earlier this week the cycling world was abuzz with the news that Marc Hirschi and Team DSM, formerly Team Sunweb, were to part ways less than a week into 2021 and with a year remaining on Hirschi’s contract.
Hirschi had a breakthrough season with the Dutch team in 2020. He arguably put in one of the most emotional and exciting progressions of stage attempts at the 2020 Tour de France. From a 90 km long solo move on stage 9 that ended in Hirschi being caught within spitting distance of the finish line to a last-ditch attack on stage 12 that ended in victory.
Hirschi went on to take third at the World Championship road race, bested only by Wout van Aert in the sprint for second. A few days later he won La Flèche Wallonne and was second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège behind Primoz Roglic. The race that will forever be known as that time the World Champion Julian Alaphilippe put his hands in the air too early and then got relegated to fifth. Sorry, Julian, you’ll never live it down.
Hirschi was among a group of young Team Sunweb riders in 2020, including Giro d’Italia runner up Jai Hindley and Tour de France stage winner Soren Kragh Andersen, who looked to be taking the team in a new direction. Less robotic racing and rules and more aggressive tactics and panache. Everything was looking prime for a second season of Team DSM’s riveting new style, that is, until they announced on January 5th that Hirschi’s contract had been terminated with immediate effect and there would be no further comments made on the subject. For a few days rumors swirled and Hirschi remained silent.
Finally, as UAE Team Emirates comes together for their first team camp of 2021, they have announced that Hirschi will represent the team for the next three seasons.
I am now happy to be able to say that I am joining UAE Team Emirates. I’m really excited about the move. 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 benefit 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 statement in the UAE Team Emirates press release regarding his signing
Hirschi joins a handful of promising young riders on UAE Team Emirates, including the 2020 Tour de France Champion Tadej Pogacar. Signing young riders on three-year contracts is something UAE Team Emirates does quite often. The two 22-year olds Brandon McNulty and Mikkel Bjerg are currently signed for the team through 2022, having both joined for the 2020 season. Andrés Camilo Ardila was also picked up in 2020 and is slated to race for the team through 2023. Juan Ayuso, only 18-years old, was announced to UAE Team Emirates on January 8, 2021, on a five-year deal.
Based on the performances of UAE Team Emirates young riders in 2020 it could be a great move for Hirschi’s future. Only time will tell.