The addition of Marc Hirschi to their team has been officially confirmed by UAE Team Emirates. What’s more, the former U23 World Road Champion is joining the squad on a three-year contract that will see him racing through the 2023 season for UAE Team Emirates.
The cycling world was abuzz with the news earlier this week that Marc Hirschi and Team DSM, formerly Team Sunweb, were to part ways less than a week into 2021 and on Hirschi’s contract with a year remaining.
With the Dutch team, Marc had a breakout season in 2020. At the 2020 Tour de France, he undoubtedly put in one of the most emotional and thrilling progressions of stage attempts. From a 90 km long solo move on stage 9 that ended up being caught within spitting distance of the finish line in Hirschi to a last-ditch attack that ended in victory on stage 12.
Hirschi went on to take third position in the road race at the World Championship, beating only Wout van Aert for second in the sprint. He won La Flèche Wallonne a few days later and finished second at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, behind Primoz Roglic. A race that will be remembered forever as the moment when World Champion Julian Alaphilippe put his hands in the air too early and lowered himself to fifth.
In 2020, Hirschi was among a group of young Team Sunweb riders, including Jai Hindley, the Giro d’Italia champion, and Soren Kragh Andersen, the Tour de France stage winner, who looked to push the team in a new direction. Less robotic racing and rules and panache and more violent methods. All looked perfect for a second season of the riveting new style of Team DSM, that is, until they revealed on January 5th that Marc’s contract had been terminated with immediate effect and no further statements on the subject will be made. Rumours swirled for a few days and Hirschi stayed quiet.
Finally, as UAE Team Emirates is gathering for their first 2021 team camp, they have announced that for the next three seasons, Hirschi will represent the team.
“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”.
Marc joins a handful of talented young UAE Team Emirates riders, including Tadej Pogacar, the 2020 Tour de France Winner. It is something the UAE Team Emirates does very frequently to recruit young riders on three-year contracts. Brandon McNulty and Mikkel Bjerg, two 22-year-olds, are currently contracted for the team until 2022, having both joined for the 2020 season. In 2020, Andrés Camilo Ardila was also picked up and is expected to race for the team until 2023. On January 8, 2021, Juan Ayuso, just 18 years old, was revealed to the UAE Team Emirates on a five-year contract.