UAE Team Emirates confirm takeover of Alè BTC Ljubljana women's team

FRAUENFELD SWITZERLAND JUNE 06 Marta Bastianelli of Italy and Ale Btc Ljubljana Team stage winner celebrates at arrival during the 1st Tour de Suisse Women 2021 Stage 2 a 98km stage from Frauenfeld to Frauenfeld tourdesuisse tds tdswomen on June 06 2021 in Frauenfeld Switzerland Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Marta Bastianelli is one of the Ale BTC team's key riders (Image credit: Getty Images)

UAE Team Emirates have announced they will have a women’s team in 2022 and will acquire the WorldTour licence of the Alè BTC Ljubljana team.

Cyclingnews reported on Saturday that UAE Team Emirates would take over the Alè BTC Ljubljana team to ensure they add a women’s WorldTour squad to their men’s team led by Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar

On Tuesday, the team confirmed the takeover, which will see a women's UAE Team Emirates squad officially in place for the start of next season.

"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," team manager Mauro Gianetti said in an announcement. 

"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.

"In the coming weeks we will have the definitive framework and we will be ready to present the project."

The UAE Team Emirates women’s team will use Colnago bikes instead of the Cipollini bikes used in 2021. 

Alè BTC Ljubljana had a 12-rider roster in 2021 and most of the riders are expected to stay, despite some already receiving offers from rival teams. Marta Bastianelli could be team leader but also has other options, while Spain’s Mavi Garcia is expected to stay. Marlen Reusser has already confirmed she will move to SD Worx but, according to the BiciPro website in Italy, Sofia Bertizzolo will join the team.

Pogačar’s partner Urška Žigart could also join the team from Team BikeExchange after riding for Alé BTC Ljubljana in 2020.

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Stephen Farrand
Head of News

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has been Head of News at Cyclingnews since 2022, before which he held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and CyclingWeekly, among other publications.