Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar and the entire UAE Emirates cycling squad have been vaccinated against Covid-19, the team said Friday.
A cycling tour last February in the UAE was the first high-profile sports event to be hit by Covid, with members of the UAE team among those infected.
"We are the first team to get the vaccine," the team said after being administered the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinopharm CNBG.
A total of 27 riders plus 32 staff were vaccinated in Abu Dhabi. The entire masked team posed beneath a banner reading 'Towards a Covid-free world' after the inoculations.
"We are enormously proud of the efforts the nation and its leadership has taken at every level to both combat the impact the of the COVID-19 pandemic and to be a leader in the efforts to bring life back to normal,” team principal Mauro Gianetti said.
"The whole team is delighted to have been given the opportunity to protect ourselves and others through taking the vaccine," he said as the team launched its slogan of 'Racing to bring life back to life'.
This year's third edition of the UAE Tour is scheduled to take place from February 21-27.
British cyclist Adam Yates won the last edition ahead of Slovenia's Pogacar after the race was called off two days before the scheduled finish due to Covid-19 concerns.