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UAE Team Emirates adds Marc Soler to growing stage race squad

BAGNO DI ROMAGNA ITALY MAY 20 Marc Soler Gimenez of Spain and Movistar Team at start in Piazza del Campo during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 13 a 212km stage from Siena to Bagno di Romagna Team Presentation girodiitalia Giro UCIworldtour on May 20 2021 in Bagno di Romagna Italy Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

UAE Team Emirates continue to strengthen their squad for 2022 and beyond, signing Spain’s Marc Soler to bolster their Grand Tour and stage race squad around Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar. 

The 27-year-old rider will join UAE Team Emirates from Movistar, with a contract for 2022 and 2023, and is the latest rider to commit his future to the team alongside João Almeida and German sprinter Pascal Ackermann.

Almeida agreed a five-year contract, while Pogacar has recently extended his contract until 2027 thanks to long-term funding from the UAE team sponsors. 

Soler won the Paris-Nice in 2018 and has secured stage wins in major WorldTour races such as the Vuelta España in 2020 and a recent solo victory at this year’s Tour de Romandie. He was expected to play a key leadership role for Movistar at this year’s Giro d’Italia but crashed out during stage 12. He also crashed hard on stage 1 of the Tour de France when a spectator held a sign in the road and did not start stage 2.  

Soler will probably offer vital support to Pogacar in the Tour de France and then have the freedom to target the Vuelta a Espana and other WorldTour stage races. 

He often rides aggressively and can be outspoken about race tactics. He was famously caught expressing his mind and was critical of his team in the Movistar Netflix documentary ‘The least expected day’.    

“I’m very pleased to be joining UAE Team Emirates and looking forward to the new adventures and challenges ahead. I’m coming here with a lot of excitement and with a desire to work hard and enjoy this new chapter,” he said. 

“After 7 years at Movistar I think now is a good time in my career to look for new challenges and I thank them dearly for all our years working together and wish them all the best for the future. I’m ready for this new step.”

Soler will join Almeida, Rafa Majka, Brandon McNulty and Andrés Camilo Ardila in the growing stage race group. ​​Earlier this year the team signed talented young Spaniard Juan Ayuso from the Under 23 ranks, while Kiwi Finn Fisher-Black was taken from Jumbo Visma's development team. 

“It’s no secret that Marc Soler is one of the finest riders in the pro peloton and we believe he carries all the key attributes and the racing mentality to fit in well to this team,” Joxean Matxin Fernández said.  

“He’s an attacking rider, a fighter, and his personality and mental qualities are things that make him unique. He has his own distinctive racing style and character and we are excited to bring him on board into a team where I believe he will adapt very well.”