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.
"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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