UAE Team Emirates on Tuesday announced they are in the process of acquiring Alè BTC Ljubljana, which will allow them to launch their own women's team for the 2022 season.
Women's professional cycling has grown exponentially in recent years and the formation of the UCI Women's World Tour in 2016 has taken it to new heights.
UAE Team Emirates' involvement in the women's tour is set to follow fellow leading World Tour teams Trek-Segafredo, Jumbo-Visma and Movistar in having a women’s operation alongside their men’s team.
Alè is an Italian team founded in 2011 which welcomed BTC Ljubljana as team title sponsors in 2019. It is one of nine World Teams which compete on the Women's World Tour.
UAE Team Emirates principal Mauro Gianetti revealed that the Emirati operation is in talks to acquire Alè BTC Ljubljana and hope to relaunch the team in the new year.
“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," Gianetti said.
"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 World Tour 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."
UAE Team Emirates are themselves a product of a successful acquisition after the team was formed in 2017 when the licence of Italian outfit Lampre-Mérida was acquired by an Emirati-backed operation.
In the four-and-a-half years since, UAE Team Emirates has established itself as one of the leading teams on the UCI World Tour. They have won successive Tour de France titles and boast the world's top-ranked road cyclist, Tadej Pogacar, who on Saturday added the Giro di Lombardia crown to his back-to-back Tour triumphs.