Bahrain-Mérida faces its second season in the cycling frontline, after an interesting debut in 2017. Much like Astana has been doing over the past decade, the team represents an oil-rich country looking for a place on the global sport scene, under the initiative of Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The 30-year-old occasional triathlete is the son of the king of Bahrain, the president of the national Olympic Committee, the commander of the Royal Guard and, now, the owner of a cycling team backed by a consortium of Bahraini companies in a partnership with Taiwanese bicycle maker Merida.
The fleet is led by the charismatic Vincenzo Nibali, who made it onto the podium of the Giro and La Vuelta in 2017, with stage victories in both grand tours. In 2018, the ‘shark’ of Mesina has also added a victory in the Milan-San Remo race to his already impressive track record. Besides Nibali, brothers Ion and Gorka Izagirre also stand out in the Bahraini team. This year, they compete together once again, having just fought for the general classification victory right up to the very last stage of the Paris-Nice.
Overall victory : 0
Stage victories : 1
2017 : Vincenzo Nibali, in Andorra La Vella.
Leader jersey : 0
Victories in secondary classifications : 0
5 : number of times that Vincenzo Nibali has participated in La Vuelta with three podiums (2010, 2013 and 2017) and one overall victory in 2010.
March 6th, 2017 : Sonny Colbrelli gets the first World Tour victory for Bahrain-Merida’s team in Amilly (second stage of Paris-Nice 2017).
March 17th, 2018 : Vincenzo Nibali wins Milan-San Remo, the first race for the team, after a long breakaway.
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