Lara Gillespie steps up to WorldTour with UAE Team ADQ

Lara Gillespie, a promising talent currently on the UAE Development Team, is set to join the UAE Team ADQ parent team at WorldTour level starting June 9th, 2024. This follows a successful season for the 23-year-old, including wins at the Antwerp Port Epic Ladies in Belgium and two stages plus the final classification at the Giro del Mediterraneo in Rosa.

Gillespie isn’t just a sprinter; she has shown her ability in breakaways and handling cobblestones and off-road terrains. She’s also excelled in track racing, helping the Irish national team qualify for the upcoming Olympics and finishing fourth in both the team pursuit and omnium at the Track European Championships.

Gillespie expressed her excitement about the move: “I am excited about this step forward in my career. I have had an amazing couple of years growing and learning how to race and win as a team with UAE Development Team and I am very grateful for these experiences. I have to thank all my teammates and staff, from whom I learnt a lot. And thanks also to the Irish Cycling Federation who supported me in balancing a multi-disciplinary career. I am really looking forward to continue on this pathway and enjoy the adventures that World Tour racing will bring me.”

She will race with UAE Team ADQ for the rest of the 2024 season and has committed to the team through 2025 and 2026. Gillespie spoke about her future goals: “I look forward to integrating more and more and being part of a big project in the coming months and years. First of all, I have to focus on the Olympics with the Irish national track team in August, after which it will be great to finish the 2024 road season with some high-level races and really find my place in the new team. Over the next few years I want to learn more about myself and continue to develop, I think this is the perfect place to grow and become a successful and happy rider.”

Melissa Moncada, President of UAE Team ADQ, praised Gillespie’s promotion: “Lara is a talent of our Development team, which makes the transfer very important to us while showing how we cultivate the next generation of talents in-house. She impressed us a lot this year, so it was a natural decision to proceed with the upgrade to the WorldTour team. After careful evaluation done by our Head of Sport Cherie Pridham, we have taken the decision that Lara is ready to join the WorldTour level. Together with Lara we have prepared an individual plan for her, which we believe suits her the best and we agreed on the contract until 2026.”