Vincenzo Nibali to lead new Bahrain-Merida team in 2017

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Vincenzo Nibali to lead new Bahrain-Merida team in 2017

Giro d'Italia champion confirmed as first signing and team leader for Kingdom of Bahrain's pro cycling team

Pro cycling newcomers Bahrain-Merida have confirmed Giro d’Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali will be their first signing, with the plan to build a team around the four-time Grand Tour winner.

The newly established team has been formed by the Kingdom of Bahrain, with bike sponsors Merida serving as co-headling sponsors.

And the team have confirmed Nibali, 32, will leave Astana to lead the new team and the Shark of Messinah is relishing the opportunity.

Giro d’Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali will ride for Bahrain-Merida in 2017 (pic: Sirotti)

“I was immediately fascinated by the idea of a strong project plan built around me,” Nibali – one of only six riders to have won all three Grand Tours – said.

“I have believed in the team from day one, because it has a clear vision and is to be carried out by some of the best professionals in the sport.

“Their trust and confidence in me made me take the final decision for this new exciting adventure of my career.

“I can’t wait to meet their expectations at the most important races in the world wearing the jersey of Bahrain-Merida.”

A statement released by the team to confirm Nibali’s acquisition added: “He will captain Bahrain-Merida surrounded by a roster of talented riders, selected to help achieve the ambition of a globally-recognized pro cycling team.”

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