Chinese rider Meiyin Wang has been announced as the latest signing for new WorldTour Bahrain Merida. Since 2009, the 27-year-old has spent his career at the Continental level with Wisdom - Hengxiang his 2016 team. With the signing of Wang, there are 12 different nationalities represented on the Bahrain Merida roster for 2017.
Wang's 2016 racing calendar was spent in Asia with the KOM classification at the Tour de Langkawi his standout result. Fourth place overall at Tour of China I and fifth place overall at Tour of China II was further evidence to the Bahrain Merida staff that Wang would be a good signing for the team.
"The selection of Meiyin on our team is something which brings us a great amount of pleasure, we have been keeping a close eye on this talented Chinese rider for a long time now and we are very much looking forward to seeing him race in the Bahrain Merida jersey, he is one of, if not the best Chinese rider at present and his results and experience show this, his age of 27 and racing for eight years in professional ranks is something that will bring to the team a lot of importance," team manager Brent Copeland said.
Copeland added that he is excited to see Wang's potential at the WorldTour level and to provide him the opportunity to race a global calendar.
"His results speak for themselves where he has always done well in the Asian races, the most recent finishing as the best placed Chinese rider in the Tour of Hainan that finished last weekend, we are very pleased to be able to give him this great opportunity to race in Europe and we are sure that with more experience of racing in the European races he will have even more margin for improvement and we are looking forward to working with him and helping him improve in all necessary areas, the inclusion of Meiyin on the team once again shows the importance of the team making it more international,where we are now sitting on twelve different nations in our team and this gives us a lot of satisfaction in order to create such an international professional team," he added.
For Wang, the signing makes his dream of riding in the WorldTour a reality and expressed his gratitude to be given the opportunity after a decade.
"As a cyclist, joining Bahrain Merida, a top-notch cycling team, is a dream comes true. It could be even harder as a track and field athletes like me to achieve that," said Wang. "I have been working on cycling sport for more than 10 years and I really appreciate my coach (Fu-yu, Li) with his instructions. Also, I really appreciate Mr. Brent Copeland and Merida the brand with their trust. I look forward working with my new team-mates, and I will try my best in the races in Europe and else where and honor my team and all the Chinese people."
The team held its first training camp in Croatia last week with Copeland telling Gazzetta dello Sport that Vincenzo Nibali will start his season at the Vuelta Ciclista a la Provincia de San Juan with Giovanni Visconti to lead the team at the Tour Down Under in January. Further announcements for the team's first races are expected in the coming weeks.