UAE Team Emirates brings on new sponsor ahead of Tour de France

First Abu Dhabi bank gets a sport on modified team jersey

UAE Team Emirates have brought on a new sponsor two days ahead of the Tour de France, with First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) joining the WorldTour team.

FAB was created earlier this year through a merger between the First Gulf Bank and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. With assets in excess of $180 billion, it is the UAE's largest bank and the second largest in the Middle East. 

The sponsorship deal begins at the Tour de France, though the length of the partnership was not disclosed.

FAB's logo has been added to the chest and side of the team's jersey, and the new version will be debuted when the Tour de France kicks off in Dusseldorf on Saturday. 

"We are investing our energies to create one of the most important cycling teams in the world and we are really proud to have First Abu Dhabi Bank on board," said the team's general manager Giuseppe Saronni. "Both of our entities share the same values, and we are inspired to achieve important goals and grow together."

The partnership marks the second significant sponsorship investment since the team rose out of the ashes of the old Lampre-Merida team ahead of the start of the 2017 season. After backing from the United Arab Emirates rescued the team after Chinese investment fell through, it was announced in February that the Emirates airline, which has a number of high-profile partnerships across global sport, was joining as a title sponsor

The team aims to become a 'top-three' team within three years and although figures are undisclosed, its new sponsorship only enhances its standing as one of the more financially powerful teams of the professional peloton. 

Louis Meintjes will lead the team at the Tour de France, hoping for a high overall finish and the white jersey for best young rider, while Ben Swift and Diego Ulissi will target stage wins. 

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