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Mäder and Milan join Bahrain Victorious for 2021

Gino Mäder (NTT Pro Cycling) gets aero on stage 15 of the 2020 Vuelta a España
Gino Mäder (NTT Pro Cycling) gets aero on stage 15 of the 2020 Vuelta a España (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Bahrain McLaren – who will be called Bahrain Victorious next season – have announced the signing of Swiss rider Gino Mäder and young Italian time-trial specialist Jonathan Milan for 2021.

Twenty-three-year-old Mäder took fourth in the under-23 road race at the 2018 World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, and went on to win a stage of the Tour of Hainan while again riding for the Swiss national squad.

He arrives from NTT Pro Cycling, and also rode at WorldTour level with Dimension Data in 2019. This season, NTT selected Mäder for his first Grand Tour – the Vuelta a España – and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands, finishing second behind Groupama-FDJ's David Gaudu on the penultimate stage to the Alto de la Covatilla, and taking an impressive 20th overall.

"I'm more than grateful to be joining the team," said Mäder in a team press release on Wednesday. "I'm happy to be here, and have teammates who are some of the best riders in the world, like Wout Poels, Mikel Landa and Pello Bilbao, and to have the chance to learn from such strong GC riders is something I'm looking forward to.

"I didn't have a great start to my professional career," he added, "but now I have more confidence in myself. I ended the season by putting in some good performances, which motivated me to start this new venture with the team. I'll look forward to giving my best and to seeing if I can add more value to the team."

This season, Mäder's new Italian teammate, Jonathan Milan, won a stage at the under-23 Giro d'Italia and took the U23 Italian time trial title. The 20-year-old also combines the road with the track, and finished third in the team pursuit and took fourth in the individual pursuit at this year's UCI Track World Championships.

Milan's spent the past two seasons with Italian UCI Continental squad Cycling Team Friuli, but will now leapfrog the ProTeam level to go straight into a WorldTour team.

"Becoming a professional cyclist is a dream come true," Milan said. "Honestly, I didn't think it would happen so soon. I'm grateful to the management for trusting me, and for allowing me to take this big next step in my career.

"I'm glad I chose this team," he continued. "I believe I took the right decision because the support I will have to continue my track cycling racing programme was one of the main reasons I decided to join, and the team's also set some main goals for the track races, which means a lot to me.

"In 2021, my first aim will be the Track European Championships and then the biggest one – the Olympics," said Milan. "But first of all, I'm looking forward to starting training and meeting my new teammates at the first training camp."