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Since MERIDA BIKES joined professional road cycling as a co-sponsor of the LAMPRE-MERIDA team back in 2013, the names and the sponsoring partners have seen various changes, but in 2017, the Kingdom of Bahrain joined in to form a new team under the banner of the BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team. This name changed to BAHRAIN McLAREN for 2020 and then to Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS from 2021. What has remained unchanged ever since MERIDA BIKES' decision to enter pro road cycling is our commitment to provide the team with the best equipment possible – closely cooperating with athletes, performance coaches and other suppliers to help drive the team’s success and forge our products in the heat of competition. From 2017 to 2020, the BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team and BAHRAIN McLAREN won 64 races and amassed a total of 236 podium results – not a bad record by any means. However, 2021 became the year the team truly lived up to its potential thanks to an impressive 30 wins. These included Sonny Colbrelli's epic triumph in a wet and gruesome edition of the Paris-Roubaix classic, the win in the team classification at the Tour de France plus the likes of Damiano Caruso and Jack Haig scoring GC podium results at the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España.
Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS finished the 2021 season as the 5th-ranked pro cycling team and spurred by these successes, the team is highly motivated to score even more victories for the BAHRAIN Cycling Team Project. At MERIDA, we are immensely proud to look back at what we have achieved together but equally excited about what lies ahead, ready to put all our efforts into the upcoming season. The team riders will have access to three different bikes once again, allowing individual riders to go for their preferred setup and tailor their machines perfectly for the various terrains, courses, and conditions at hand. Riders will use the MERIDA SCULTURA and REACTO models for stage races and single-day events and the new, dedicated TT bike TIME WARP-TT DISC for individual and team time trials.
The 2022 roster of Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS: Yukiya Arashiro (JPN), Phil Bauhaus (GER), Pello Bilbao (ESP), Santiago Buitrago (COL), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Sonny Colbrelli (ITA), Feng Chun-Kai (TWN), Kamil Gradek (POL), Jack Haig (AUS), Heinrich Haussler (AUS), Mikel Landa (ESP), Filip Maciejuk (POL), Ahmed Madan (BHR), Gino Mäder (SUI), Jonathan Milan (ITA), Matej Mohoric (SVN), Domen Novak (SVN), Alejandro Osorio (COL), Hermann Pernsteiner (AUT), Wout Poels (NED), Johan Price-Pejtersen (DEN), Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP), Jasha Sütterlin (GER) Dylan Teuns (BEL), Jan Tratnik (SVN), Stephen Williams (GBR), Alfred Wright (GBR) and Edoardo Zambanini (ITA).
Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS team bikes continue to stand out from the crowd thanks to the eye-catching colour design dominated by various shades of red and some blue, reflecting the national colours of the kingdom of Bahrain. Furthermore, after their most successful season on disc-brake equipped bikes, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS can also rely on this stopping technology in time trial events thanks to the brand-new TIME-WARP TT DISC. With some strong time trial specialists joining the team for 2022, we are greatly looking forward to seeing how these riders perform aboard the new bike. And as Matej Mohoric's recent victory at the Milano – Sanremo classic shows, MERIDA continues to closely cooperate with the team to optimize their equipment further and give the riders a competitive advantage.
To give the riders detailed and accurate information about their performance, the team has selected the latest generation Shimano Dura-Ace R9200-P power meters. On top of that, the team chooses to use the 9250 Dura-Ace Di2 series groupset, including electronically actuated shifting and hydraulic disc brakes. The latest Di2 version works semi-wirelessly and the frame of the new SCULTURA has been optimized around this system.
Regarding wheels, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS trusts in the latest generation of Vision's superb METRON SL Disc wheel series, which were further improved in terms of rim shape and carbon structure. The METRON SL 40 Disc wheels are the first choice for days with plenty of climbing due to their weight of less than 1.25 kg per set. Sprinters and breakaway racers will opt for the METRON SL 60 Disc with a more deep-section rim-profile, offering an improved aero-performance and slightly higher stiffness at full-gas sprinting with somewhat trickier handling in heavy crosswinds as a trade-off. All wheels used by the team are hand-built, trued in Italy and spin on low resistance ceramic bearings.
The 2021 season saw the team’s gradual switch from tubular to tubeless wheels, an experiment that has been a complete success and has allowed the riders to profit from increased traction and puncture protection without a trade-off in rolling resistance.
When it comes to tyres, only the best will do, so Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS uses Continental's new GP5000S TR tyres. Available in widths ranging from 25 to 32 mm, these tubeless-ready tyres combine ultimate grip, super-fast rolling speeds and high puncture resistance. FSA and Vision will continue to supply the cockpits and seat posts. After an intense testing period, a significant part of the team roster has decided to select the one-piece Vision METRON stem/handlebar combos, which offer superior aerodynamic performance and improve stiffness during sprints. The team's climbers will choose the FSA K-Force cockpits for their low weight and incredibly stiffness. Vision is also the supplying partner for the one-piece METRON TT time trial cockpits and offers specific, 3D shaped handlebar extensions for the team leaders.
Finally, saddles are supplied by Prologo – all with carbon rails and carbon shells. Riders can choose between the PAS system (with a central recess) and closed-shell designs, plus they can also use Prologo's unique CPC anti-friction system on the covers. The brand-new Scratch M5 saddle will also be provided, offering a compact option that delivers a higher level of comfort and an impressive weight of just 140 grams.