Damiano Caruso will be announced as a Bahrain-Merida rider after the UCI transfer deadline is lifted on August 1. The Italian moves to join Vincenzo Nibali as growing uncertainly mounts at BMC Racing.
“Caruso is a rider that we’ve found an agreement with,” Bahrain Merida’s Brent Copeland told Cyclingnews. “We’ve always wanted him and we’ve liked him as a good helper. He can ride as a captain too.
Caruso is the first BMC Racing rider to be confirmed to Bahrain Merida; however, several others have been linked. In June, Cyclingnews reported that Rohan Dennis was ’90 per cent’ certain to join the team. Those missing 10 per cent have now been found, we can confirm, although Copeland would not comment.
A third BMC Racing rider is also heavily linked to Bahrain. Dylan Teuns drew a lot of interest over the spring, and has been linked to a two-year deal to Nibali’s team. Dennis and Caruso will also be on two-year contracts.
As reported last month by Cyclingnews, Phil Bauhaus will join the team, however Mike Teunissen will not. The Sunweb rider had a change of heart, despite receiving an offer. Instead, Marcel Sieberg is likely to move across from Lotto Soudal. The German watched his countryman Bauhaus come through the ranks and the hope is that the experienced veteran will offer key support in the sprint train.
Bahrain Merida have been one of the busiest teams on the market this summer. Nibali is set to sign a new deal with the team, while Dennis will be given the chance to develop his stage racing skills under a new umbrella. The team are still working on getting Wout van Aert over the line, but the likely scenario at this point is that he remains a cross rider for 2019 and joins the WorldTour in 2020. Lotto Soudal are also leading the charge to sign the young rider.