Bicycle manufacturer Merida has confirmed it will cease its title sponsorship of the Bahrain-Merida team in 2020 according to Cyclingnews.
The professional cycling team will continue to be provided with bikes by the Taiwanese company meanwhile McLaren will become the secondary title sponsor. The automotive company is increasing its backing of the team, which will be known as Bahrain-McLaren in 2020.
Merida has been title sponsor of the team since it was launched in and before that, it was co-title sponsor of the Lampre-Merida team for four years.
Cycling news reported, "We are immensely proud of the last three years and what we have achieved. Being part of the team from its very beginning and securing two Grand Tour podiums in the first season gives us a great sense of accomplishment and an eagerness to stay involved with the Bahrain WorldTour team," said Andreas Rottler, Merida's director of sport marketing.
"It is a great honour as well as a responsibility to continue with one of the most successful teams in the peloton, and we are looking forward to our new role."
The Bahrain-McLaren team, which will include new signing Mark Cavendish, will continue to race on the same Merida bikes in 2020. The Scultura is a lightweight climbing bike, the Reacto is an aero bike, and the Warp is the time trial bike.
Merida has said it will draw on McLaren's technical expertise to continue to develop its products.
"Merida's desire to use technology to further the development of our key equipment mirrors our own, and their track record with the team during the first three years of partnership has demonstrated the quality of their approach. I’m sure that together we can build an even brighter future," said John Allert, managing director of McLaren's 'Pro Cycling' division.
Sprint star, Mark Cavendish, will join the exciting pro cycling joint venture between the Kingdom of Bahrain and racing, technology and automotive brand, McLaren, for the 2020 season. Cavendish is widely regarded as the greatest sprinter in the history of the sport, having won a phenomenal 48 Grand Tour stage wins during his career, including 30 at the Tour de France.
The signing cements a long-standing relationship between Cavendish and McLaren, dating back to the star sprinter’s world championship success on a bike co-developed with McLaren. The 2011 World Road Race Champion is the latest high-profile signing to an increasingly impressive line-up, led by team principal Rod Ellingworth, which now includes Mikel Landa, Wout Poels, and 2019 Tour de France stage winner, Dylan Teuns.