Bahrain-Merida have announced six new signings as they continue to overhaul their squad for 2020.
The Middle Eastern team, which will be led by former Team Sky coach Rod Ellingworth from next year, have already made a number of notable signings for next year including Wout Poels from Team Ineos and Mikel Landa from Movistar. They have also signed 30-time Tour de France stage winner Mark Cavendish for next year, though the deal is yet to be officially announced.
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To back-up their marquee signings, Bahrain have now announced six further signings, including Grand Tour stage winners Pello Bilbao (Astana) and Eros Capecchi (Deceuninck-Quick-Step).
Bilbao joins after three successful years at Astana where he finished sixth overall in the 2018 Giro d’Italia and this year took two stage wins. The 29-year-old could ride alongside fellow Basque Mikel Landa next year to support him in taking a maiden Grand Tour title.
Giro stage winner Capecchi joins after three years with the Quick-Step squad, and the Italian will serve as a valuable domestique in the mountains for Poels or Landa.
Marco Haller makes a move between for the first time since 2012 when he joined Katusha. The versatile Austrian leaves just as Katusha-Alpecin is taken over by Israel Cycling Academy, who will step up to the WorldTour next year. Haller can compete in Classics and in sprint finishes and will could serve as lead out rider for Cavendish in the bunch finishes next year.
Britain’s Scott Davies is another of the riders to join Bahrain for next year, and will remain in the WorldTour after two years with Dimension Data. The 24-year-old rode his first Grand Tour at the Giro this year and will be a future prospect for the team alongside 22-year-old Dutchman Kevin Inklaar, who joins from the Continental Groupama-FDJ development team.
Experienced Spanish climber Rafael Valls, who won the Tour of Oman in 2015, is the last of the six new signings; the 32-year-old joining after two years at Movistar.