The team represents Bahrain, an oil-rich country on the Persian Gulf looking for a place on the global sport scene, under the initiative of Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The occasional triathlete is the son of the king Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the president of the national Olympic Committee, the commander of the Royal Guard. The cycling team, now a joint venture of which the British car maker McLaren owns 50%, is backed by a consortium of Gulf companies in a partnership with Taiwanese bicycle maker Merida.
Bahrain–Merida's Tour first Tour de France participations were a big flop, with leader Ion Izagirre crashing out of the race during the prologue in Düsseldorf in 2017, while Vincenzo Nibali chose to concentrate on the 100th Giro d'Italia for the first season of the team in the pro peloton, finishing third. The Shark returned to the Tour de France in 2018 with his sights firmly set on the top step of the podium, but he was taken down by a spectator on the Alpe d'Huez, with his second-in-command, Domenico Pozzovivo, finishing 18th in the general classification. Nibali is set to follow up his runner-up finish in the 2019 Giro with a Tour de France start, this time with no overall ambitions. Five years after rolling into Paris with the yellow jersey, he would like to take the polka-dot jersey all the way to the Champs-Élysées. Slovenian Matej Mohorič (a stage winner in the 2017 Vuelta and 2018 Giro) is the other man to watch in the Bahraini team, while power sprinter Sonny Colbrelli, who came second to Peter Sagan in La Roche-sur-Yon last year, will be chasing his maiden stage win. He is a rider who thrives in sprint finishes on undulating terrain.
Overall wins : 0
Stage wins : 0
Secondary classification wins : 0
Yellow jerseys : 0
11: The number of times Vincenzo Nibali has finished on the podium of a Grand Tour, including an overall win in the Tour de France, another in the Vuelta and two in the Giro (since 2010). Only Anquetil (13), Gimondi, Merckx and Hinault (12) have done better.
24 July 2015: Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa spends a day at the Tour de France and sees Vincenzo Nibali triumph at La Toussuire–Les Sybelles six months after going out for a ride together before the Dubai Tour.
7 October 2017: one month after taking the runner-up's spot in the Vuelta, Vincenzo Nibali prevails in the Giro di Lombardia and gives Bahrain-Merida its first victory in a major classic.
8 July 2018: Sonny Colbrelli is left fuming after coming second to world champion Peter Sagan in La Roche-sur-Yon.
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