'Nonconformist' Marc Hirschi 'makes cycling spectacular' and will return to previous levels after injury setbacks

The Swiss rider will start his season later due hip surgery, the injury that has troubled him for three years

Marc Hirschi
(Image credit: Getty)

Marc Hirschi will once again be "one of cycling's spectacular riders" and return to the level of performances that he demonstrated two seasons ago.

That is according to his UAE-Team Emirates boss Joxean Fernández Matxin who brought the Swiss to the team last January following the termination of his contract with Team DSM.

In the few months prior to switching teams, Hirschi emerged as one of cycling's most attacking players, winning a stage of the Tour de France, La Flèche Wallonne, finishing second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and rounding out the podium at the Road Race World Championships.

Since then, however, Hirschi has been plagued by a serious of niggling injuries and is currently recovering from hip surgery. He is not expected to begin his 2022 season until March at the earliest.

Matxin acknowledged the frustration on Hirschi's part for failing to kick on during his first year with UAE-Team Emirates, but the Spanish manager has total faith in the 23-year-old.

"It's been a complicated year for Marc where the injuries haven't allowed him to demonstrate what he can do," Matxin told Cycling Weekly.

"He is a rider of a lot of quality. He is a rider with muchísimo - a lot - of talent. I love him personally because he is a great person and I have absolute confidence in Marc.

"And I know that when he's completely recovered and gotten over his injuries, Marc will be one of cycling's spectacular riders.

"He has a character than really grips the world. He has a winning personality, he is aggressive, he attacks and he is a nonconformist. 

"He is the profile of a rider that I love. He is a rider who you can only thank, because he makes cycling spectacular."

In the autumn of 2020, Hirschi found himself competing and winning against Tadej Pogačar, Primož Roglič, Julian Alaphilippe, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel, the most feared sextet in cycling at the time.  They were even dubbed the 'Big Six'.

Hirschi returned to form last September by winning a stage at the Tour de Luxembourg en-route to a second-placed finish, and he will be hoping that he can improve on that in this year's Ardennes Classics.

>>> UAE-Team Emirates will not use train-like tactics to help Tadej Pogačar: 'We will not contract champions to work as domestiques'

"He's recovering and he's well," Matxin informed of Hirschi's current condition. "He will start later because last year we tried sometimes to find a solution by racing him, but what we don't want is what happened last year.

"We need to find a solution, allow him to enjoy things calmly, and enjoy the bike how he likes to do so without any problems.

"Once he does that, let's see what races are good for him. He is a very important piece in this team."

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.