Nibali plans Giro-Tour double as Bahrain-Merida announce McLaren sponsorship

The winner of all three Grand Tours continues to chase big results

Vincenzo Nibali plans to ride both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 2019.

The Bahrain-Merida rider is continuing to chase big results, having won all three Grand Tours and both Italian Monuments.

News of the Grand Tour double attempt comes as Nibali’s team announced a new sponsor – the McLaren Group.

McLaren will become a 50 per cent join partner in the Bahrain-Merida team.

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Speaking at the team presentation in Hvar, Croatia, Nibali said: “Next year, I will do the Giro and the Tour. The Giro d’Italia is my main aim.”

Nibali, winner of the 2017 Il Lombardia and 2018 Milan-San Remo crashed out of the Tour de France after a collision with a fan on the Alpe d’Huez stage.

The 34-year-old suffered a fractured vertebra and only showed return to form during the final big race of the season, the 2018 Il Lombardia, where he finished second.

Nibali has said he is still not satisfied with his glowing palmarès and vows to continue chasing big results.

The team also announced a new partnership during the presentation, Surrey-based automotive firm McLaren.

Initially a Formula One team, McLaren has spread its roots out to the wider car and technological interests.

The company worked with the British team ahead the London 2012 Olympics, in cycling, rowing, sailing and canoeing.

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McLaren’s chief marketing officer, John Allert, said: “Racing, technology and human performance are at the heart of everything we do at McLaren.

“Cycling is something we have been involved with in the past and have been looking at entering for some time.

“It is a completely natural fit for our skills and our ambitions and a perfect partnership with Bahrain-Merida who have the right vision and approach for the future.

“We will be working tirelessly in the months ahead as we know the world of professional cycling is home to some of the best athletes and competitive teams in the world of sport.

“What Team Bahrain Merida has achieved in less than two years, off a standing start, is hugely impressive. Working together with a team this driven is a very exciting prospect indeed.”

The Bahrain-Merida, McLaren partnership will involve work on technical areas, human performance, and marketing and commercial services.