Italian national champion and 2015 Vuelta a España winner Fabio Aru moves from Astana to UAE Team Emirates for the 2018 season
Official news of the move ends months of speculation, confirming that the current Italian national road race champion will leave Astana at the end of 2017.
Aru will join UAE Team Emirates as a Grand Tour leader along with fellow new signing Dan Martin. The 27-year-old has enjoyed solid Grand Tour results since joining Astana in 2012, winning the 2015 Vuelta a España overall after finishing second in the Giro d’Italia earlier that year.
He posted his highest placing at the Tour de France in July 2017, finishing fifth overall behind overall winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), claiming a stage win and wearing the yellow jersey of race leader.
UAE Team Emirates manager Carlo Saronni said: “We welcome a champion like Fabio Aru; his skills perfectly match the ambitions of the team.
“Besides highlighting Aru’s enormous potential, I’d like to point out that Aru is a rider who can stir up excitement among the fans; he is well-loved because of his generosity on a bike.
“With his performances he will contribute to promoting an ideal team image and he will likely help us reach important competitive milestones.”
Watch: Fabio Aru wins Tour de France 2017 stage five
Aru said that he hopes he lives up to the team’s expectations.
“I’m honored that the UAE Team Emirates management and their sponsors want to unite our cycling endeavors; I thank them for the faith they’ve placed in me and I hope to live up to their expectations,” said Aru.
“I would also like to thank everyone who has been with me up to now in my career, they’ve all been important to my growth.”
Aru and Martin join several new signings for WorldTour-level UAE Team Emirates for the 2018 season, which includes Norwegian Tour of Flanders and Milan-San Remo winner Alexander Kristoff.