Abu Dhabi based global forex brokerage firm ADS Securities has announced that it is joining with Emirates Airlines to sponsor its home UAE Pro Cycling team, ahead of the biggest cycling race in the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi Tour. Joining Emirates and ADS Securities as a team sponsor is defense services company International Golden Group.
UAE Pro Cycling, the UAE’s first-ever professional cycling team, today unveiled a new name, logo, team kit, and the three new sponsors that includes a new co-title sponsor – the iconic international airline, Emirates.
The team, which last December was awarded the final license to compete on the UCI World Tour – the premier annual male elite road cycling tour, has undergone a transformation in recent months, and will now be known as UAE Team Emirates. It will ride under that banner for the first time at this week’s Abu Dhabi Tour.
The iconic Emirates logo will now feature on the UAE Team Emirates team jersey.
Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Divisional Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Centre for Emirates, said:
This is our first foray into supporting a professional international cycling team, and there is no better place to do it than our home of the UAE. We believe that through our support of UAE Team Emirates over the next four years we will help bring the UAE to the world stage of cycling. Emirates aims to create more meaningful connections with cycling fans around the world, and we hope that the pro-cycling team will inspire continued development of the sport in the UAE.
The announcement was made at a specially-convened media event in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi.
ADS Securities Chairman, His Excellency Mahmood Ebraheem Al Mahmood, is delighted to be partnering with UAE Team Emirates:
Cycling’s popularity has grown immensely in the last several years and while cyclists may not necessarily know a lot about finance, they have an innate understanding of risk. We are confident that this is the beginning of a great partnership and are thrilled to be one of the first organizations to formally support a UAE-based team competing at the very highest level in professional road racing.
Mr Fadel Saif Al-Kaabi, CEO of defense and security services provider, IGG, said:
This is a fantastic opportunity for IGG; supporting UAE’s top athletes is a habit that we are immensely proud of, and something which we have done in an abundance in the past. This latest partnership with UAE Team Emirates is particularly exciting given the massive developments having been made to unveil the new team to the world.
UAE Team Emirates President, Matar Al Dhaheri, was thrilled to have been able to announce three major new sponsors in such a short period of time since the team’s own unveiling just over a month ago:
The commercial interest in this team has been so exciting, and it is a huge honour to have attracted three such impressive organisations as Emirates, ADS Securities and IGG to join our new family.
My thanks go to the management teams at all three companies, but of course I’d like to thank in particular our new co-title sponsor Emirates. To announce a partnership with such an iconic and experienced brand in world sports is a major milestone for the team and I believe it is one of the best partnerships in the history of cycling.
These new partners, together with our fantastic roster of current sponsors – lead sponsor Kopaonik Property Investment, Colnago, Champion System, Met and Mitsubishi Motors – offer us the stability needed to establish a world-class team that will help us take great strides over the coming years.
UAE Team Emirates was born out of a former Italian UCI World Tour team, and is owned by Swiss-based company CGS Cycling. In early January the new team was unveiled as Team UAE Abu Dhabi together with a new lead sponsor – the UAE-based company Kopaonik Property Investment LLC. Now, almost two months down the line, and having attracted the additional support of Emirates, ADS Securities and IGG, the team has evolved to become known as UAE Team Emirates.
Continuing in his previous role is UAE Team Emirates General Manager – Italian cycling legend Giuseppe Saronni. Saronni has been managing professional cycling teams since 1991, only one year after having ended a glittering career as a cyclist in which he collected 205 victories, including twice winning the iconic Maglia Rosa (Pink Jersey) at the Giro d’Italia and beating Greg LeMond to win the World Cycling Championship in 1982.
Known affectionately within the cycling world as Beppe, Saronni has steered successive professional teams to glory on the road, including four World Champions who have raced for his teams wearing the famous Rainbow Jersey, and wins at many of the most prestigious races in the world including the Giro d’Italia, Milan-San Remo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, the Amstel Gold Race, and the Giro di Lombardia.
Well-known cyclists to have raced in Saronni’s teams include Maurizio Fondriest, Ján Svorada, Pavel Tonkov, Gilberto Simoni, Michele Scarponi, and Damiano Cunego. Now under the new UAE Team Emirates banner, Saronni is hoping to steer a new generation to success over the coming years
“My passion is for building a true family of riders who come together, work hard as a team, and strive towards a common goal. Over the years we have built a great tradition and with UAE Team Emirates I believe we have a great opportunity to do that once again,” said Saronni.
“We have an exciting squad that includes a number of really promising young riders. Our 26 riders will compete in all forms of racing this year, with a strong mix of GC specialists, some exciting Classics riders, good climbers and fast sprinters. We have a really exciting future, and I couldn’t be more happy for this season and beyond.”
UAE Team Emirates’ first race under the new team banner is the Abu Dhabi Tour from 23 – 26 February. A UCI World Tour race, it features four stages taking place across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, three of which are likely to suit the sprinters and one which takes in the mountains around the city of Al Ain, finishing at the 1025m summit of Jebel Hafeet.
The UAE Team Emirates’ team of eight for the race is Diego Ulissi, Ben Swift, Manuele Mori, Louis Meintjes, Andrea Guardini, Kristijan Durasek, Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa and Simone Consonni.
One man not competing in Abu Dhabi this week, but who has a particular interest in the new roster of team sponsors, is UAE Team Emirates’ Emirati rider Yousif Mirza. The 28 year old, who hails from Ras Al Khaimah, represented his country at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and has been given the chance to ride with a UCI World Tour team for the first time this season.
“I have seen at first hand the impact that the arrival of professional cycling in the UAE is having on participation and active lifestyle in my country,” says Mirza. “The Dubai and Abu Dhabi Tours have done a great job in giving a profile to this sport, and now I’m sure that this new team, with the support of great local partners, can take cycling to the next level in the UAE and inspire many more people to take to two wheels in the next few years.”