Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Former Vuelta a Espana champion Fabio Aru joins UAE Team Emirates on three-year deal

Italian national road champion is expected to lead his new team's charges at the Grand Tours.

Fabio Aru has will be racing in UAE Team Emirates colours at the Abu Dhabi Tour this year. UAE Team Emirates
Fabio Aru has will be racing in UAE Team Emirates colours at the Abu Dhabi Tour this year. UAE Team Emirates

UAE Team Emirates have announced the signing of former Vuelta a Espana champion Fabio Aru on a three-year contract.

Aru, 27, is the reigning Italian National Road champion and is regarded as one of the finest climbers in world cycling. His biggest victory to date came in 2015 when he won his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a Espana. His victory came just months after he finished as the runner-up at the season's first Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia.

Aru joins UAE Team Emirates after six years with Astana Pro Team.

“I’m honoured that the UAE Team Emirates management and their sponsors want to unite our cycling endeavours," Aru said.

"I thank them for the faith they’ve placed in me and I hope to live up to their expectations. 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 development.”

The signing of Aru, who produced his best finish at the Tour de France this year when he claimed fifth in the General Classification, suggests UAE Team Emirates are building a team capable of competing at the front of the three Grand Tours.

Slovenian Jan Polanc was the highest-placed UAE Team Emirates rider at this year's Giro d'Italia, finishing 11th, while South African Louis Meintjes claimed eighth and 12th at the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana respectively.

“We are happy to welcome a champion like Fabio Aru. His skills perfectly match the ambitions of the team," UAE Team Emirates team manager Carlo Saronni said.

"Besides highlighting Aru’s enormous potential, I’d like to point out that he is a rider who can stir up excitement amongst the fans and 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 achieve important, competitive results.”