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Nibali confirmed as signing with Bahrain Merida team

Josh Cunningham
3 Aug 2016

Grand Tour heavyweight Vincenzo Nibali will join the new team Bahrain Merida, formed by the Kingdom of Bahrain, as its team leader.

It has been confirmed that Vincenzo Nibali, a winner of all three Grand Tours, will join the new Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team as its team leader. He is the first rider to have been confirmed as signing for the new team, which was formed by the Kingdom of Bahrain and Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

'I was immediately fascinated by the idea of a strong project plan built around me,' said Nibali. '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.

'This 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.'

The team was rumoured for a while, before recent reports that a delay wouldn't see it launching until 2017 emerged. Those rumours appear to have been officially debunked with the news of Nibali's signing, but the team remains under scrutiny due to the apparent human rights record of Sheikh Nasser, who is said to have participated in the torture of political opponents in 2011.

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