South African road champion and African time-trial gold medallist Ryan Gibbons has signed a two-year contract with UAE Team Emirates.
The 26-year-old rode in the recent Tour de France for NTT Pro Cycling, for whom he made his World Tour debut in 2017, but he has now joined the outfit which produced the Tour de France champion in 22-year-old Tadej Pogacar.
South Africa had two riders in the race, with Daryl Impey finishing 97th overall in the colours of Mitchelton-Scott and Gibbons, riding in his first Tour and with painful damaged ribs, which were aggravated in an early fall, pedalled to 121st position overall for NTT Pro Cycling.
✍️ | We're delighted to announce the signing of @RyanGibbons23 🇿🇦.
South African champion pens two year deal with the Emirati squad.
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamUAEAbuDhabi) October 26, 2020
‘I am thoroughly looking forward to joining UAE Team Emirates for the next two seasons,’ said Gibbons. ‘I feel honoured to be part of such an incredible setup, which has achieved so much success and proven to be one of the best teams in the peloton. I have no doubt that this transition is crucial for my personal growth and my future as a professional cyclist and I’m eagerly awaiting the start of this new journey.’
UAE Team Emirates headquarters houses a number of South Africans, with Dr Jeroen Swart leading the medical staff, while John Wakefield, Adriano Rotunno, Raaghib Fredericks, Jarrad Van Zuydam and Jarrod Suter were all part of the victorious team for cycling’s most prestigious annual event.
‘Ryan is a versatile rider who has shown himself to be very dynamic and a strong team player. He has progressed well over the past few seasons and we hope he can continue that progression in our team as we continue to build for the future,’ said UAE Team Emirates principle Mauro Gianetti in making the announcement.