UAE Team Emirates


United Arab Emirates | Website

Photo: UAE Team Emirates

Photo: UAE Team Emirates

UAE Team Emirates is a new name in the pro peloton for 2017, although the roots of the team actually stretch back to 1991, making it one of the longest-running squads.

The then Italian-registered squad rode under the Lampre name and with various secondary sponsors throughout the 1990s and 2000s: Lampre-Panaria, Lampre-Fondital and Lampre-Merida among them.

In recent years, though, Lampre's former distinctive pink, blue and green kit perhaps stood out more than any individual rider.

Former world champion Rui Costa and Italian Diego Ulissi are currently the biggest stars signed to the team.

The addition of rising South African talent Louis Meintjes in 2016 and British sprinter Ben Swift for 2017 has increased the team's presence in Grand Tours and the classics respectively. Climbing specialist Meintjes finished the 2016 Tour de France in eighth place.

The team very nearly did not gain a place in the 2017 WorldTour after a Chinese backer failed to come up with sponsorship money. A last-minute deal struck with Abu Dhabi saw the squad saved, and a place in the WorldTour secured. Emirates airline joined the team as co-title sponsor in February 2017.

The team did start to pick up some big wins though and with a growing budget they started to bring in some big names and very promising youngsters.

One of these youngsters was Slovenian, Tadej Pogačar, who signed from Continental team Ljubljana-Gusto.

He immediately started putting in top performances taking third overall at his first Grand Tour in the Vuelta.

He then shocked the cycling world to snatch the Tour de France from under Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) nose.

The squad rides Colnago bikes equipped with Campagnolo drivetrain.