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Team Bahrain McLaren announced Monday the WorldTour team will race as Team Bahrain Victorious in the 2021 season “as part of a change in its strategic direction,” team officials confirmed.
With the exit of partner McLaren, the team will rebrand its jersey for the upcoming season following some backroom changes that also sees the departure of team manager Rod Ellingworth.
“Cycling is one of the most challenging sports which requires dedication, discipline, and perseverance,” said Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa in a press release Monday. “It’s these values that are needed to take on endurance sports which are capable of promoting a better lifestyle for all. Team Bahrain Victorious will reflect our vision for building a performance-first team that aims to inspire and win at the highest level.”
For 2021, the team retains key riders Mikel Landa, Pello Bilbao, Wout Poels, Dylan Teuns, Sonny Colbrelli, and Matej Mohoric, with new arrivals that include Jack Haig, Jonathan Milan, and Gino Mäder. Key departures include Mark Cavendish to Deceuninck-Quick-Step, and Iván García Cortina to Movistar.
The team won nine races in 2020, including a stage at the Giro d’Italia with Jan Tratnik, and a stage at Paris-Nice with García Cortina. The squad also saw a solid grand tour campaign, with Landa fourth overall at the Tour de France. Bilbao finished fifth overall at the Giro d’Italia, and Poels was sixth at the Vuelta a España.
The team was founded in 2017, and officials confirmed riders will retain its collaboration with Merida bikes, as well as with FSA cockpits, Vision wheels, Prologo saddles, Continental tires, and Shimano power meters.