Although Marc Hirschi says he’s not allowed to discuss his surprise late transfer from Team DSM to UAE Team Emirates, details of the move, as well as the reasons for it, have begun to emerge.
Most importantly, the talented rider whose breakthrough 2020 season saw him win a stage of the Tour de France, Flèche Wallonne, as well as make the podium at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Imola Road World Championships, will now pick up a salary 14 times what he was previously being paid, more befitting the 22-year-old’s already impressive palmarès.
This is according to French newspaper L’Equipe, who understand Hirschi will now earn €1 million a season at his new employers, with DSM unwilling to match or improve on the €70,000 they were paying the Swiss rider.
As well as the improved financial reimbursement, it’s claimed Hirschi was also disappointed to not receive congratulations for his results from the team.
The strict rules within the team have been cited again as a reason for his departure, which also includes not being allowed external coaching, a sticking point that also apparently contributed to Michael Matthews departing for Team BikeExchange.
“Sometimes he had the feeling that he was suffocating within an organisation that was too strict,” a family member told L’Equipe, while Hirschi re-iterated to the French newspaper that he cannot talk about the circumstances surrounding his transfer.
“I can’t say much about it,” he said. “That has been established in the agreement. I can only say that the opportunity arose to leave. And now I am here and I look forward to the future.”
Hirschi will kick-off his 2021 campaign at his new team’s home race, the UAE Tour, before lining up for the opening weekend in Belgium at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussells-Kuurne, before taking on Strade Bianche and Milan – San-Remo, with Paris-Nice squeezed in between.
Then, it will be a full serving of Spring Classics, with Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège.
He will go on to race the Tour de Suisse in preparation for the Tour de France, where he will line-up as part of defending champion Tadej Pogačar’s squad.