UAE Team Emirates have signed young German sprinter Felix Groß, continuing their run of hiring potential superstars.
Groß has signed a professional contract with squad on a three-year deal from the start of 2022, but will start his WorldTour career as a trainee from August 1 with UAE.
The 22-year-old has signed for the WorldTour outfit from the development team Rad-Net Rose Team, impressing over the six years he’s been riding for them as he developed into a powerful sprinter.
On his new contract, Groß said: “I have almost no words, I am really really happy. The chance to ride in such a great team is something I wouldn’t have thought possible.
“I’ve been on the track for many years now, and I believe I can be very successful on the road as well. I feel like I’m in the right place and I am looking forward to wearing the UAE Team Emirates jersey next year.”
Groß has spent most of his junior and under-23 career riding on the track where he has taken gold medals in individual pursuit and kilometre TT, along with a bronze in the team pursuit at the under-23 European track championships in Italy last year.
He continued: “My first contact with the team was after my success at Fiorenzuola. What came out of it, the participation at the camp in Abu Dhabi in January, various tests, talks and the hope that the big dream would come true, a spot in the WorldTour.
“I’m excited about what this year will bring, the chance to go on a journey with UAE Team Emirates, I’m incredibly excited.
“However, firstly, along with the support of the German Cycling Federation, I will be putting all my focus on the Olympic Games.”
The team has made this signing of young talents a bit of a habit in recent years with the likes of Tadej Pogačar and Brandon McNulty both joining from development teams Ljubljana-Gusto and Hagens Bermans-Axeon before shaping them into serious talents.
UAE Team Emirates manager, Joxean Matxin Fernandez said: “Felix is a young, talented rider who is a top-class rider on the track and we hope to help him make the transition to the road.
“We had him with us at the early season team camp in Abu Dhabi and he impressed us a lot and is a rider who has a great attitude. We see great potential in him and we are excited for him to join us at the end of the year as a stagiaire after the Olympics.”
Groß isn’t the only rider who is joining the team on the first of August either as Spanish 18-year-old Juan Ayuso is set to join from Team Colpack-Ballan after showing very impressive form in Coppi e Bartali and other Italian under-23 races.