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The sometimes inconsistent but highly talented Spanish rider joins UAE on a two-year deal after riding seven years at the Movistar franchise.
“It was very easy to make the decision to change teams and come here,” Soler said in a team video. “I’m really happy. After seven years, it was time for a change.”
Soler, 28, was once tapped as a future grand tour winner. Efforts at leadership at Movistar faltered due to some bad luck and crashes, but he is hopeful that a fresh start at UAE will send his career on a new track.
“I can say that I can’t wait to start this new chapter,” he said. “I am confident that I can help the team and be able to improve. I’d love to win a race or be close in a one-week stage race.”
Soler won a stage at 2020 Vuelta a España, but famously became enraged in the previous edition of the Spanish grand tour when he was ordered to sit up when he was off the front in Andorra to help tow then-GC captain Nairo Quintana.
Quintana took the pink jersey that day and later finished fourth overall, but Soler was furious. His tantrum later provoked discord within the team, and Soler publicly apologized the next day.
🇪🇸 ¡Bienvenido @solermarc93 !
Soler: “I’m very happy, after seven years it was time to change and I couldn’t have picked a better team like #UAETeamEmirates . I’m happy and confident to be able to improve and help the team.”#WeAreUAE pic.twitter.com/DlplNuhj0a
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamEmiratesUAE) January 23, 2022
For 2022, Soler will have a busy first half of the season, including stage races at Catalunya, Tirreno-Adriatico, and the Basque Country. A return to the Vuelta might be in the cards later in the season.
Right now, he’s penciled in to join the Tour de France team with Tadej Pogačar.
“I really want to be there to help Tadej win a third straight Tour de France,” he said. “I believe with this team with its riders it can win any race.”
Tentative calendar for Marc Soler in 2022:
Volta a Catalunya
Volta a Catalunya
Itzulia Basque Country
Tour de France
Vuelta a España