Bahrain-Merida riders receive unpaid wages

Financial problems solved, say team

Bahrain-Merida general manager Brent Copeland has told Cyclingnews that his full roster of riders have been paid their December salaries and that the recent financial issues that dogged the team have now been resolved.

Earlier in January it came to light that team leader Vincenzo Nibali and several other riders had not been paid for December after a shortfall in the team's funds due to what the team described at the time as 'administration and technical issues.'

Nibali confirmed that he had agreed to a pay freeze until the matter had been resolved, while the UCI were kept abreast of the news.

"It was Friday last week when all the payments were made. I can guarantee that they've all been paid," Copeland told Cyclingnews on Wednesday night.

"It was simply an administration delay, like I've always said. I can't go into any more details but that's all confirmed now. At the end of the day it was just a two-week delay."

Bahrain-Merida signed a number of high-profile riders in the off-season, including Rohan Dennis, Damiano Caruso and young British neo-pro Stevie Williams. In December they announced that McLaren would come on board from the start of 2019 as a lower tier sponsor and technical ally. The current sponsorship deal with Merida runs until the end of 2019, with the likelihood that the bike manufacturer will stay on board as a partner for 2020.

Copeland stressed that the financial problems had now been addressed and that, going forward, the riders would be paid on time.

"We like to pay at the first day of the month. Absolutely there's no problem going forward. The next payment is at the start of February," he added.

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