Team Bahrain Victorious - a new name and high ambitions for 2021

After a memorable season, Team Bahrain-McLaren only saw a few but high-quality changes to its roster. Due to a change in the sponsoring strategy, the team will go into 2021 as Team Bahrain Victorious, sporting a new jersey design as well.

With no less than eleven new signings Team Bahrain-McLaren had been very active on the transfer market a year ago. After a season that got split in half by the Covid 19 pandemic and that saw a very dense racing calendar throughout the autumn season, the team’s management has decided to opt for less changes for 2021, stressing continuity instead. At the beginning of November the team announced contract extensions with no less than nine riders: Apart from Yukiya Arashiro, Phil Bauhaus, Chun-kai Feng, Heinrich Haussler, Mark Padun, Hermann Pernsteiner, Marcel Sieberg, Jan Tratnik and Stevie Williams all will be returning as part of the team’s roster in 2021, sporting the jerseys of Team Bahrain Victorious. Of course this team continues to rely on proven performers such as Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao, Wout Poels, Dylan Teuns, Damiano Caruso, Matej Mohoric and Sonny Colbrelli as its core.

As for the new signings, the management of Team Bahrain Victorious opted to go for the motto «quality over quantity»: While five riders are leaving the team, three athletes have been signed to join it in 2021. Apart from being a great ambassador of the sport, Australia’s Jack Haig is a strong climber who can score in one-week stage races himself and who undoubtedly will add to the team’s firepower in the mountains. At an age of 27, Haig is entering the best years for a pro cyclist. With Gino Mäder the team has also signed a talented Swiss rider who is a powerful climber packing a mean sprint. While Mäder got to celebrate his biggest successes this far in the under23 category, finishing 2018’s tough World championships in Innsbruck in 4th place, the 23 year-old Swiss rider turned heads with his performance at this year’s Vuelta a España that he finished in 20th overall.

The third new signing of Team Bahrain Victorious is Jonathan Milan: As a member of Italy’s track pursuit team and measuring 1.94m in size, the young Italian has celebrated his biggest successes on the track. But he’s also a very promising time trialist and with his win in stage 5 of the «Baby-Giro» Milan showed that he’s a strong sprinter as well, beating some of the best fast men of his generation in a bunch sprint. While three riders are joining the team, five riders are leaving with Ivan Garcia Cortina, Mark Cavendish, Enrico Battaglin, Luka Pibernik and Grega Bole. MERIDA BIKES wishes all these five riders all the best for their future career. Another prominent figure to leave the team after just one year is Rod Ellingworth who has decided to return to the Ineos Grenadiers. On the other hand a very experienced directeur sportif is joining the team with Australian Neil Stephens.

The new name Team Bahrain Victorious points at the high ambitions for 2021: After no less than five top10 results in the three Grand Tours of the past season, the team is looking to get a rider on the podium next year, be it at the Giro, the Tour of the Vuelta. And while the team editions supplied by MERIDA BIKES will still be very visible with their Papaya-coloured front sections, the design of the team jersey is a bit more subdued. Being Bahrain’s national colour, red dominates this design, with some accents in blue and orange. As for the shorts, the team’s new bikewear supplier Nalini has opted for a classic black with white sponsor logos. As the team’s bike supplier and co-sponsor, MERIDA BIKES is looking forward to the cycling season 2021 that will hopefully be less shaped by the pandemic. Until then, we wish all of you the best of health and a happy Festive Season!