Bahrain Cycling Team a go

The Kingdom of Bahrain officially announced its support of the nacent Bahrain Cycling Team today, ending speculation that the team would not come together for the 2017 season.

The press release gave few details on the team, choosing to delay naming staff and riders until the opening of the UCI's transfer window on August 1, but stated the team would be "funded through a consortium of businesses and partners from Bahrain".

It has been reported that current Lampre-Merida manager Brent Copeland would be involved in the project and is looking to sign Vincenzo Nibali, who is out of contract with the Astana team.

Earlier this month, L'Equipe reported that the team would be postponed for a year, but this was strongly denied by Copeland.

The announcement did not specify if the team would seek WorldTour status, but said its partners "are committed to the growth and development of the team and will ensure the best conditions for its riders to achieve top results in the biggest races around the world", and "will include internationally renowned athletes. Management is comprised of globally recognised cycling experts, who have been selected for their commitment to a wholly independent and results driven approach."

"We are thrilled to be able to announce the Bahrain Cycling Team today, as Bahrain holds a great love for this growing sport," said a spokesperson for the consortium, "As a country we already compete internationally in a range of sports, and we want to continue this though our commitment to international cycling. Professional cycling is one of the most exhilarating sports in the world, and it is with the hope of enriching the global cycling scene that we take part in this beautiful sport and hope to make the world around us a better place."

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