Dubai: Spanish teenager Juan Ayuso is hoping to gain in leaps and bounds after becoming the latest member of the UAE Team Emirates. The Abu Dhabi-based team announced Ayuso as the latest signing on a five-year contract in an attempt to further continue their commitment to developing young talent.
The 17-year-old, who already has six wins in 2020 alone, was thrilled to make the move to UAE Team Emirates. “At the moment, I’m an all-rounder but I think in the future I will head towards being more a climber,” he said.
“My first contact with the team was through Matxin [Fernandez] mid-way through last season, then I got to know the team a bit better at their training camp last winter, where I had the opportunity to see how the team actually worked,’ he added.
“I was really impressed on how well the team was structured and the great atmosphere between the riders. The decision of choosing UAE ahead of any other team is because the teams mentality is very similar to mine; a very ambitious mentality with a very hard work ethic behind it. The team is relatively new, and it is taking huge steps to improve each year. I have no doubts that the team will become the best team in the World Tour in the near future,” Ayuso confided.
Ayuso, who is the current Spanish junior national champion, will spend his first contract year with a development team with the objective of gaining experience and making a gradual transition to the professional ranks. Hailing from the Spanish province of Alicante, Ayuso has taken the domestic junior ranks by storm and was quickly picked up on the radar of UAE Team manager Matxin Fernandez.
“Juan is a rider we have been following for a long time. It’s no secret that we like to work with young talented riders and Juan is the definition of this. He has the right balance between physical talent and having a very good head on his shoulders. Along with Juan and his parents we are thinking more medium to long term,” Fernandez noted.
“The idea is for him to make a gradual transition into the World Tour team. We are deciding along with Juan and his family where is best for him to spend his first year -whether it be at a Continental or professional level is still to be defined,” he added.
“The idea is to give him time and space to develop as a rider and as a person. The priority at the moment is that he enjoys the bike. It’s a five-year outlook with Juan and he is part of the long-term project we are building at UAE Team Emirates.”