Cavendish signs with Team Bahrain Merida
British star Mark Cavendish has signed with Team Bahrain Merida, it has been confirmed.
The 34-year-old, who had been with Team Dimension Data, has agreed to join Bahrain Merida for the 2020 season.
Cavendish, who has won 48 Grand Tour stages during his career, including 30 at the Tour de France, has now linked up with the team, which is a joint-venture with McLaren.
“Joining this team is the fulfilment of a long-held ambition for me… and is super exciting and motivating," Cavendish said.
"You could even say a dream come true. Having worked closely with McLaren in the past, and seen the benefits of their technology and processes, this was an opportunity I jumped at. My relationship with Rod goes way back, and he’s been instrumental in helping me develop as a rider and a person.
"I can’t wait to join my new teammates and do everything I can to help us achieve the successes I know will come."
The move enables Cavendish to link back up with Bahrain team principal Rod Ellingworth, formerly of Team Sky, and his former mentor was delighted to welcome the British rider.
"Mark’s signing completes our rider roster for 2020 and gives us the balance the team needs to win," Ellingworth said.
"Mark is a proven champion and has a lot to contribute – both on and off the bike.
"Having last worked with him at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Qatar World Championships, I’ve been delighted to see that his energy and determination to succeed are greater now than ever. We’re going to do everything in our power to enable him to perform at his best."
When British motorsport giant McLaren became a 50 per cent partner in the team last year Cavendish had been rumoured to join but instead he re-signed with Dimension Data. Now he has finally found his way to the Bahrain outfit.
Cavendish and Ellingworth first worked together at the British Cycling Academy and partnered when the sprinter rode for Team Sky in 2012.