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UAE Team Emirates to launch women’s WorldTour team with Alè BTC Ljubljana

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The women’s WorldTour will look a little different in 2022.

UAE-Team Emirates confirmed Tuesday that it is working to acquire the WorldTour license of the Italian Alè BTC Ljubljana squad and launch a female WorldTour division next year.

“We are pleased to announce that we are working to create a female team to compete on the world stage as part of the UAE ambition to develop cycling, in support of a global project that started back in 2017,” said team principal Mauro Gianetti.

“Together with the Alè BTC Ljubljana Team we have found the right opportunity and the availability we were looking for and, in collaboration with the UCI, we are preparing all the necessary documents for the completion of the acquisition of the WorldTour license starting from 1 January 2022.”

The news comes in the wake of a major spending spree at UAE-Team Emirates’ men’s team as it reinforces its Tadej Pogačar-led grand tour armory. João Almeida, Marc Soler, George Bennett and Pascal Ackermann have all been signed up for 2022 in a series of high-profile moves.

It is currently uncertain as to how the nuts and bolts of the deal with Alè BTC Ljubljana will work, and it is not yet known which riders and staffers will transfer to the new Emirati squad.

However, it has been previously confirmed that Swiss powerhouse Marlen Reusser will be leaving to join SD Worx. Team leader Marta Bastianelli is out of contract at the close of this season.

Reports have also linked Pogačar’s partner Urška Žigart to a return to the team after riding for Alè BTC Ljubljana in 2020.

“In the coming weeks we will have the definitive framework and we will be ready to present the project,” Gianetti said.

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