Official presentation of BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team in Bahrain
First official presentation of the BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team in the Middle East turned out to be a memorable and special experience for everyone present
Sunday, 8th January – His Highness Sheikh Nasser expressed his support and he believes in successful first season.
Cycling fans and citizens of Bahrain, sponsor representatives and media representatives from all over the world – from Europe to Middle East and Japan – gathered this week in Bahrain for a special occasion. Through intense events over the last three days and especially at today’s official presentation the whole BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team presented themselves to the world. This was also their first official appearance in the country they will represent in the cycling world over the next three years.
On Friday all the riders attended a road training on apx. 100 km long track that started at Sofitel Zallaq Hotel, where they were accommodated, and rode through Bahrain Royal Stable, where the royal horses trains. Then the team went to Bahrain International Circuit, where Formula 1 races take place and where the riders really speed up and showed their good form and high skills. Later that day all 26 riders and 21 members of staff took a sightseeing tour of the city, supported by local sponsors.
On Saturday the real stars were the citizens of Bahrain. They had the opportunity to ride together with the Team, alongside with Vincenzo Nibali and other stars, and to actually experience what it is like to be a part of a pro peloton. The BAHRAIN MERIDA FUN RIDE event on the 48 km track on the outskirt of the Maname city turned out to be a success and most certainly a memorable experience for all present cycling fans. Over 400 riders, among them few that never rode more than 10 kilometers in their lives, enjoyed a beautiful sunny day on their bikes, greeting observers on the streets. With a huge support assists of Bahrain RoadRunners the event went smooth and logistically perfect.
Peak of the 3-day event was, of course, today’s official presentation of the Team in the Royal Palace with a special guest, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa that impressed everyone with his opening speech. Among the guests were also team’s Bahraini sponsors, Italian ambassador, representative of Japanese embassy and some European sponsors that made this day and this Team possible. Bapco Company was represented by their chairman His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa that is also Minister of Petrol.
An impressive 7-minute video, called Video Point Zero, was featured during the presentation showing the story of the Team, right from the beginning. All 26 riders were introduced to the guests. They will proudly represent this small but also great country that has an open minded view to the world of sports and that will undoubtedly become even greater with the achievement of the Team.
After the photo taken with His Highness Shaikh Nasser, a red, blue and gold BAHRAIN MERIDA bus drove off with enthusiastic members of the Team, full of impressions from the Royal Palace. The same afternoon team was invited to King’s palace who proudly shared with the team positive thoughts and wishes.
All events and gathering all three days were also an additional motivation for the Team and one more little step on the road to success. The diamond island country, as His Highness calls it, brought together individuals from 12 countries and 5 continents and impressed not only the Team but also worldwide sponsors and guests.
So the final act of the preparation period was carried out just the way we hope for the whole season: smoothly, full of enthusiasm, support and good vibrations. We believe that the goal of today’s event - to present the Team to the world and show to all the fans, supporters and sponsors that the Team is 100 % ready for the beginning of the UCI WorldTour – was successfully fulfilled.
This season’s opening races are in Australia and Argentina and the team will be able to put words into action. The whole team, directors, mechanics, management and staff are hardly waiting for the season the kick off.