A dynamic new look for a dynamic new team
UCI World Tour road racing outfit Team Bahrain McLaren today unveiled its dynamic new identity, team line-up and vision for 2020 at the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre in Woking, United Kingdom. The team, a joint venture between Bahrain World Tour Cycling Team and British automotive, racing and technology leader McLaren, will race as Team Bahrain McLaren in 2020.
Originally conceived by His Highness Shaikh Nasser, and having competed as Team Bahrain Merida since 2017, the change in the team’s name signals a bold new chapter in the team’s ownership, one in which the existing rider line-up, team management and support staff have all been supplemented. Team Bahrain McLaren will be overseen by the highly respected Rod Ellingworth, in the new role of Team Principal.
As Team Bahrain Merida the team achieved an impressive number of race wins over three years, including Grand Tour podiums in its first season – the first team ever to achieve such a result in its debut year. Together with its foundation partner, leading bike brand Merida, the team built a strong technical and rider line-up, and multiple victories – including notable break throughs at Milano-San Remo and Il Lombardia, as well as numerous stage race and Grand Tour wins.
For 2020, the team has signed Grand Tour stars Mikel Landa and Wout Poels, as well as Mark Cavendish, the most successful Grand Tour sprinter of all time.
Joining Ellingworth’s new senior executive team are ex World Tour pro and British National Road Race Champion Roger Hammond, in the role of Performance Director, and Duncan Bradley, a founding member of McLaren’s Applied Technologies business – as the team’s inaugural Technical Director. They join Brent Copeland who moves to the new position of Operations Director, and Charlie Pym, who joins the team as Marketing Director.
John Allert, Joint Managing Director of Team Bahrain McLaren commented:
‘This is a great moment in the story of our team – joining forces with Bahrain World Tour Cycling Team to challenge the conventions of a sport we love and respect is exciting for everyone involved. We hope to give cycling’s passionate fans something new to cheer – this is a team built for tomorrow, with a great respect for the past. McLaren will bring technology to the team, a culture of continuous improvement, dynamic marketing and innovation forged in the most technically demanding sport in the world – F1. However, this is a phenomenally competitive sport, and we don’t underestimate the challenges nor the strength of our competition.’
Team Bahrain McLaren welcomes a number of new, industry leading partners to the World Tour. Joining the team’s technical bike partner, Merida, and Bahrain’s national oil company Bapco, are premium British performance apparel brand Le Col, as official race clothing partner, and Muc-off, the innovative cleaning and lubricant brand. Super luxury watch brand Richard Mille enters cycling for the first time, as does respected global news broadcaster CNBC.
The team’s strong connection to the Kingdom of Bahrain is represented by the proud and continuing support of Mumtalakat, the Bahrain Economic Development Board, Batelco, NBB, Alba, First Energy Bank B.S.C. and Lulu Hypermarket, amongst many others.
Team Bahrain McLaren will also be working with a number of pro cycling’s most impressive technical partners – including leading edge helmet and eyewear brand Rudy Project, premium race shoe brand Sidi, cycling luggage innovator Scicon and Elite trainers.
Milan Erzen, co-founder of Team Bahrain Merida and Joint Managing Director of Team Bahrain McLaren commented:
‘Today is a great moment for the entire team. We are indebted to the Kingdom of Bahrain for the support and belief it has had in this team right from the beginning of our journey in 2016. As we start this new and exciting chapter, we look forward to further promoting the benefits of our great sport to the Bahrain community, and giving them, as well as all our international fans and partners, plenty to cheer about in 2020.’
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