In the team's first statement since the news of the takeover, APG Cycling CEO and President of Alé BTC Ljubljana Alessia Piccolo confirmed that Alé will continue their involvement in cycling after the team changes hands.
“What is certain is that Alé will not leave the women’s cycling world,” Piccolo said. “It is our home and our territory. We will continue to support amateur cycling as we have always done. I have many projects and many ideas and a lot of passion to pour into these initiatives.”
Alé have been title sponsors of the Alé BTC Ljubljana team since 2014, and they sponsor two gran fondos in Italy.
However, Cyclingnews understands that the Alé clothing brand will not sponsor the UAE Team Emirates women's team next year. Former title sponsors Cipollini are also set to depart as bike supplier, to be replaced with Colnago.
It is not yet clear how much of the existing team structure and partners will remain involved with the team after UAE acquire their licence. A representative of Alé BTC Ljubljana said: “At the moment negotiations are still in progress thus, nothing more than what has been written in the statement by Alessia can be anticipated. A joint official press release will follow once all agreements have been concluded."
On the takeover by UAE Team Emirates, Piccolo commented: “About UAE Team Emirates I want to specify that on one hand I'm happy, because we will pass to a team of reference in the world of cycling.
“On the other hand, I'm sorry: for years I've been working to make the movement grow and in this path I've tried, with all my strength and all the possibilities, to involve companies and sponsors, in various capacities and of various sizes, without getting the answers I had hoped for. But in life, the most important thing is to believe in projects and, above all, to make sure that you carry them out in the best possible way, with the awareness of the assets you have. I believe that today, together with my collaborators, I have done something very important.
“Above all, this new step is an act of love and responsibility towards the team’s girls and the entire women's cycling movement, which is growing by leaps and bounds. With this agreement, we can guarantee continuity to a project that is so close to our hearts.”
UAE Team Emirates are expected to reveal more details about the new team, sponsors and roster “in the coming weeks” before officially completing the acquisition in January.
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Matilda Price is a freelance cycling journalist and digital producer based in the UK. She is a graduate of modern languages, and recently completed an MA in sports journalism, during which she wrote her dissertation on the lives of young cyclists. Matilda began covering cycling in 2016 whilst still at university, working mainly in the British domestic scene at first. Since then, she has covered everything from the Tour Series to the Tour de France. These days, Matilda focuses most of her attention on the women’s sport, writing for Cyclingnews and working on women’s cycling show The Bunnyhop. As well as the Women’s WorldTour, Matilda loves following cyclo-cross and is a recent convert to downhill mountain biking.
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