Navardauskas and Grmay join Bahrain Merida

Bahrain Merida have announced the signings of Tsgabu Grmay and Ramūnas Navardauskas for the 2017 season.

Navardauskas, who won a bronze medal at the UCI road World Championships in 2015, moves from Cannondale-Drapac, where he has ridden since turning professional. The 28-year-old also won a stage in the Tour de France in 2014 and in the Giro d'Italia the season before.

"I am very happy to become a member of this new team," he said in a statement issued by his new squad. "I am looking forward to working with the team in the coming season. I think this team signed many very experienced and talented guys. In the next few years I will try to support the team leaders as much as I can and also prove myself as an excellent rider."

Grmay, from Ethiopia, moves over after two seasons at Lampre-Merida and makes the switch to Bahrain Merida along with general manager Brent Copeland. A two-time national road and time trial champion, Grmay, will form part of Vincenzo Nibali's climbing contingent.

"First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this opportunity. I am really happy and lucky to be part of this great new team. I can hardly wait to start my session with the team and I am 100 per cent ready to give my best," he said.

Bahrain Merida have made a number of signings in recent weeks as they look to cement their place in the 2017 WorldTour. Along with today's new recruits they have secured Nibali as their main GC leader, Giovanni Visconti, Grega Bole, Heinrich Haussler and several other names. Their roster currently stands at 17 riders.

Brent Copeland, who has put the team together, shared his thoughts on his latest two riders.

On Navardauskas, he said: "This signing of such a great athlete brings us all great pleasure and honour. Ramunas is a signature of guarantee for team Bahrain Merida. He is the type of rider that you can always count on. He was a rider that we looked at from the very start of the project."

With regards to Grmay he said: “Tsgabu has to be one of the most promising young climbers from Africa. He is a rider that brings completeness to the team."

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