Abu Dhabi: Two of the UAE’s most promising young cycling stars have been given the opportunity of a lifetime after UAE Team Emirates’ CEO Mauro Gianetti flew to Abu Dhabi to personally invite the talented duo to the team’s training camp in Europe this summer.
The initiative was announced during a press conference that was held on Wednesday 8 June 2022 at the Abu Dhabi Sports Council Headquarters in Abu Dhabi. In attendance was Executive Director of Sport Development at Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Talal Al Hashimi, Abu Dhabi Cycling Club CEO, Al Nekhaira Al-Khyeli, UAE Team Emirates CEO, Mauro Gianetti, Abu Dhabi Sports Council Director of Clubs and Talent Development, Abdullah Al Wahbi, and the young Emirati riders given the opportunity, Abdullah Ali Al Hammadi, 22, and Mohammad Al Mutaiwei, 18.
Both cyclists compete for Abu Dhabi Cycling Club at under 23 level and will join UAE Team Emirates’ elite roster of riders for a month-long training block in the mountains of Livigno, Italy. The unique experience will see the Emirati talent immersed in the world of professional cycling as they learn from some of the best athletes, coaches, nutritionists, and sports doctors on the planet.
The initiative is another example of UAE Team Emirates’ strong collaboration with Abu Dhabi Cycling Club and its ongoing support of the UAE’s burgeoning cycling community.
Talal Al Hashimi, Executive Director of Sport Development at Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “We are proud of this major milestone that represents the fruits of our long-term plans of developing and upskilling local cycling talent. Providing them with this world-class experience with UAE Team Emirates, who have achieved tremendous success in the Tour de France, UAE Tour, and many other major races, is a fantastic opportunity.
“The initiative will add great value to both riders’ promising journeys, help accelerate their progress, give them an insight into a professional training environment and inspire next generations that are able to represent Abu Dhabi Cycling Club and other clubs on a bigger stage.”
Mauro Gianetti, UAE Team Emirates CEO said: “At UAE Team Emirates we are dedicated to creating a culture of health and wellness through cycling as well as inspiring and enabling the next generation of UAE talent. Today’s announcement not only underscores how strong this new crop of young riders is, but it reinforces our commitment to providing developmental opportunities for those who choose to pursue cycling to the highest level.”
Al Nekhaira Al-Khyeli, CEO of Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, thanked UAE Team Emirates and said: “this initiative reinforces our commitment to developing Emirati cyclists to be able to compete at a professional level. Through this experience, they will get the chance to ride with one of the leading professional teams at an international level.”
Abdullah Ali Al Hamadi, Abu Dhabi Cycling Club cyclist commented: “This is an amazing opportunity, and I can’t wait to test myself against some of the best cyclists in the world. To be riding with a Tour de France winning team is a dream and I’m sure it will be a great experience to learn from the riders and gain as much knowledge as I can to share with my teammates.”
Mohammad Al Mutaiwei, Abu Dhabi Cycling Club cyclist added: “I am very grateful to UAE Team Emirates and Abu Dhabi Cycling Club for giving us this fantastic opportunity. I think it will be a real eye opener to see the world class set up the team has and to work closely with the staff. UAE Team Emirates are an inspiration to us all and I’m positive that this initiative will encourage even more young Emiratis to take up cycling and grow the sport in the region.”