The man behind Team Bahrain Merida, Brent Copeland strives to equip his team with the best as they compete in the UCI World Tour 2018. Being the general manager of the Pro Cycling Team, Brent takes pride in his team, giving the athletes top priority by investing in their training. He relentlessly aims to position Bahrain on the map as one of the most competitive in the world of cycling. Brent gave us a preview of the team for 2018 season.
We have recently completed our first training camp of the year on the beautiful Island of Hvar in Croatia. The first training camp is always a good indication of the team’s performance for the year. It is also the only time that the complete team, both staff and riders reunite during the season.
I am pleased with all the staff for their excellent organisation and to our sponsors who have continuously supported us. Through their efforts, we had concluded a successful training camp. The riders received a great deal of quality training, and the staff was able to organise everything that is needed to be done for 2018.
One of the major benefits of this training camp is that the technical staff get together to precisely plan the rider’s and staff’s race programs. It is very crucial as it sets the base of the rider’s and staff’s working days for the season. With this, the team’s goals are then identified together with the management.
Our priority is in setting the team’s goals meticulously, as the ambitions are what drives the riders and staff members. At Team Bahrain Merida, each job is equally important. Thus, we set goals to be achieved for every department and not just for the riders themselves.
UCI WORLD TOUR 2018
There isn’t any particular goal to be achieved as there are several varying objectives. Having a star rider like Vincenzo Nibali on the team means that some of our primary goals for the 2018 season will be focusing on his race program. At the training camp, we have recently announced Vincenzo riding the Tour de France. We can say that a podium place in this race is one of the team’s main goals of the season.
It is always vital for a team to start out well. Our technical staff have done a great job of putting together as always, a good team to start in Australia for the first World Tour race of the season, with the likes of the Izaguirre brothers. They will be racing along with our new sensational rider Domenico Pozzovivo.
The races in the Middle East are a significant part of our season. Every year, these races are becoming evidently important on the international racing calendar. We have put the best possible team together for the tour of Dubai, the Tour of Oman and the Abu Dhabi Tour which always makes for some exciting racing.
Sonny Colbrelli has also shown his enthusiasm for the classics of the north in Belgium. We are anticipating some good results and visibility in these races particularly the Tour of Flanders with Sonny and Paris-Roubaix with Heinrich Haussler who has fully recovered from his injury.
With important riders on our team such as the Izaguirre brothers, namely Jon and Gorka, we have set exciting new goals for the team. We aim at competing in the shorter stage races of the season where they are some of the best riders in the world for this kind of racing. Paris-Nice, Tirreno Adriatico, Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco, Tour de Romandie and the Tour of Switzerland are going to be important races for the brothers.
Announced during our training camp, Domenico Pozzovivo will be the team’s captain at the Giro d’Italia. We have full confidence in his capabilities, and we believe he’ll do his part to the best of his ability. The Ardenne classics remains the highlight of the racing season. This year we will be participating there with a very competitive team. At the classic race Liège–Bastogne–Liège, Nibali hopes and aims at giving his best. With the support of the team that we have put together, this particular race will be quite an exhilarating one for the team.
Our philosophy is to always strive and work hard in all areas in order to climb higher in all rankings and to showcase Team Bahrain Merida name across the globe.Brent Copeland
FUTURE YOUNG TALENT
Our young and international riders are the future of our team whether they are on the team now or will be joining us shortly. Our goal is in mainly investing in them, such as Padun.
At a young of 22, we believe that Mohoric is going to be a huge surprise this year. Having been around for many years, he still shows promises of improvement. Team Bahrain Merida aims to be as international as possible. Bringing on a Bahraini cyclist to the professional ranks is at the top of our list with the help of everyone in Bahrain. We are relentlessly working on making this a reality, as it is of utmost importance to us.
For 2018, Team Bahrain Merida is looking at more victories as far as numbers are concerned. If the riders do not sustain injuries like in 2017, we have a good possibility of beating our previous record of 11 victories, 17 second places and 26 third places.
Although this is an incredible number, we still believe that with less injured riders, the number of victories will increase. In turn, elevating the overall team classification on the World Tour will increase. The anticipated results would boost the team roster that we have put together. The team is very well balanced for the new season which will assure some thrilling racing. Our philosophy is always to strive and work hard in all areas, to climb higher in all rankings, and to showcase the Team Bahrain Merida name across the globe.