BAHRAIN - MCLAREN
The team embodies the image of Bahrain, an oil-rich country on the Persian Gulf on a mission to make an impact on the global sport scene of the 21st century on the initiative of Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The occasional triathlete is the son of the king Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and serves as the president of the national Olympic Committee and the commander of the Royal Guard. Now with the British carmaker McLaren at its helm, the cycling team has secured funding from a consortium of Gulf companies.
Bahrain–Merida's first two participations in the Tour de France, racing in the colours of the Taiwanese bicycle maker Merida, were a big flop, starting with leader Ion Izagirre crashing out of the race during the prologue in Düsseldorf in 2017. Its star rider, Vincenzo Nibali, returned to the Tour de France in 2018 with his sights set on the top step of the podium only to crash out of the race on the Alpe d'Huez, while his second-in-command, Domenico Pozzovivo, went on to finish 18th. Aware that finishing second in the Giro a couple of months earlier had taken its toll, the 2014 Tour de France champion went into the 2019 Tour without overall ambitions. However, the Shark smelled blood and snapped down on the last opportunity for a stage win at Val Thorens, two weeks after Dylan Teuns opened the team's account in the Grande Boucle on La Planche des Belles Filles. In between these two successes, its other star signing, Rohan Dennis, vanished into thin air on the eve of the time trial in which he was expected to shine as the reigning world champion. Bahrain McLaren's new leader is none other than Mikel Landa, fourth in the 2017 Tour de France.
- Final victory0
- Stages victories2
- Yellow Jersey0
- Other race Won0
Overall wins: 0
Stage wins: 2
- 2019: Dylan Teuns on La Planche des Belles Filles and Vincenzo Nibali at Val Thorens
Secondary classification wins: 0
Yellow jerseys: 0
A FIGURE 2:
the number of stage wins by Bahrain–Merida in three Tour de France starts.
24 July 2015: Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa visits the Tour de France and watches Vincenzo Nibali triumph at La Toussuire six months after going out for a ride together before the Dubai Tour.
8 July 2018: Sonny Colbrelli is left fuming after world champion Peter Sagan edges him into second place on the finish line in La Roche-sur-Yon.
11 July 2019: Dylan Teuns earns the Bahraini team its first Tour de France win on La Planche des Belles Filles.
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