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After four years as a co-title sponsor with LAMPRE-MERIDA, at the beginning of 2017, MERIDA BIKES joined the BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team, not just as a technical sponsor but also as the main partner of this newly formed team. After three incredible years, MERIDA BIKES then joined forces with the Team BAHRAIN McLAREN for the 2020 season. It’s safe to say 2020 was a challenging year for the pro peloton with its fair share of ups and downs, but for 2021 MERIDA is staying with the BAHRAIN Cycling Team and forming the new Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS as the official bicycle supplier and technical partner. This move allows us to fully concentrate on providing the team with the best material possible.
Over the three years of its existence, the BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team managed to achieve an impressive tally of 199 podium spots, 53 of which were on the top step. Despite the challenges of pandemic-hindered 2020, BAHRAIN McLAREN still managed to generate a string of positive results (37 podium places including 9 top step results) which fired the team up more than ever to dive into the next chapter of the BAHRAIN Cycling Team Project. At MERIDA, this feeling is mutual and we are immensely proud to look back at what we have achieved together. However, it is now time to look forwards and to put all our efforts into supporting the new Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS. The new team will have access to three different bikes, allowing the individual rider to go for their preferred setup as well as tailor their machines perfectly for the various terrains, courses and conditions. The riders will use the MERIDA SCULTURA and REACTO on stages and single-day events and the TIME WARP dedicated TT bike for individual and team time trials.
The 2021 roster of Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS: Yukiya Arashiro (JPN), Phil Bauhaus (GER), Pello Bilbao (ESP), Santiago Buitrago (COL), Eros Capecchi (ITA), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Sonny Colbrelli (ITA), Feng Chun-Kai (TWN), Scott Davies (GBR), Jack Haig (AUS), Marco Haller (AUT), Heinrich Haussler (AUS), Kevin Inkelaar (NED), Mikel Landa (ESP), Ahmed Madan (BHR), Gino Mäder (CHE), Jonathan Milan (ITA), Matej Mohoric (SLO), Domen Novak (SLO), Mark Padun (UKR), Hermann Pernsteiner (AUT), Wout Poels (NED), Marcel Sieberg (GER), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Jan Tratnik (SLO), Rafael Valls (ESP), Stephen Williams (GBR) and Alfred Wright (GBR).
The team bikes of Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS will stand out from the crowd through the eye-catching colour design dominated by the colours red and blue, reflecting the national colours of the kingdom of Bahrain. After a prolonged testing period and a successful 2020 season ridden on disc-brake equipped bikes, Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS will continue to benefit from the consistency and improved modulation of disc brakes throughout the 2021 season, with the sole exception of the TIME WARP time trial bike. Thanks to thorough engineering and attention to detail, some significant reductions in weight have been achieved and with the SCULTURA DISC team bikes down to the UCI 6.8 kg weight limit, there is no reason to stick to rim brakes, even if weight is the main priority.
To give the riders detailed and accurate information about their performance, the team is using the latest generation Shimano Dura-Ace R9100-P power meters. Shimano also provides all functional components of the 9150 Dura-Ace Di2 series groupset, including electronically actuated shifting and hydraulic disc brakes. With regards to 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 tubular wheels are the ultimate all-rounder, with a fantastic weight of less than 1.25 kg per set and a perfect balance of low weight, high stiffness and aerodynamics. Sprinters and breakaway racers will focus on the METRON SL 55 Disc with a more deep-section rim-profile, offering an improved aero-performance and slightly higher stiffness at full-gas sprinting. At the same time, steering might get a bit more demanding during heavy crosswinds. All wheels used by the team are hand-built and trued in Italy and spin on low resistance ceramic bearings.
When it comes to tyres, only the best will do, so Team BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS uses Continental Competition Pro ALX LTD 25mm handmade tubulars. These tyres are known for their perfect synthesis of ultimate grip, super fast rolling speeds and high puncture resistance. In special conditions such as races on cobbles, the team will use Continental’s tubeless capability as needed. FSA and Vision will also 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 offers superior aerodynamic performance and improve stiffness during sprints. The team's climbers will choose the FSA K-Force cockpits for their incredibly light weight and stiffness. Vision is also the supplying partner for the one-piece METRON TT cockpits and offers specific, 3D shaped extensions for the team leaders.
Saddles are supplied by Prologo – all with carbon rails and carbon shells. Riders can choose between the PAS system (with central hole) 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.