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 just 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 in many different ways as it is the only time where the complete team reunite, both staff and riders during the season.
I am pleased to say that thanks to all the staff for their great organization and our sponsors to help support us, the training camp was a huge success. The riders got a great deal of quality training and the staff got to organise everything that 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 riders and staff race programs. This is very crucial as it sets the base of the riders and staffs working days for the season and with this the teams goals are then identified together with the management of the team.
Our priority is in setting the teams goals meticulously as the ambitions are what drives the riders and staff members. At Bahrain-Merida,every and any job is equally important therefore we set goals to be achieved for every department within and not just for the riders themselves.
UCI WORLD TOUR 2018
There isn’t any one particular
specific goal to be achieved as there are several varying objectives, however, without specifically naming the details I can say that having a star rider as Vincenzo Nibali on the team obviously means that some of our main goals for the 2018 season would be around his race program. With the announcement we recently made at the training camp of Vincenzo riding the Tour de France, we can say that a podium place at this race is one of the team’s main goals of the season.
I feel that it is always important for a team to start out well and for this reason our technical staff have done a great job as always of putting together a good team to start in Australia at the first World Tour race of the season, with the likes of the Izaguirre brothers who will be racing together with our new sensational rider Domenico Pozzovivo.
The races in the Middle East are a very important part of our season. Every year these races become more and more evident and important on the international racing calendar. We have put the best possible team together for the tour of Dubai, tour of Oman and the tour of Abu Dhabi which always makes for some exciting racing.
has also showed his enthusiasm for the classics of the north in Belgium and 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 we are pleased to say has fully recovered from his injury.
With important riders in our team such as the Izaguirre brothers, namely Jon and Gorka we have set exciting 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 and Vuelta ciclistico Pais Vasco, Tour de Romandie and the Tour of Switzerland are going to be significant races for them both.
Announced during our training camp, Domenico Pozzovivo will be the teams captain at the Giro d’italia and we have full confidence in him and we believe he’ll do his part to the best of his ability.The Ardenne classics remain the highlight of the racing season. This year we will be participating there with a very competitive team. At the classic race Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Nibali hopes and aims at giving his best and with the support of the team that has been put together, this particular race will be quite exhilarating for the team.
FURTURE YOUNG TALENT
Our young and international riders are the future of our team whether they are in the team now or will be joining us shortly. Our goal is in largely investing in them this such as Padun. At a young of 22, webelieve that Mohoric is going to be a very big surprise this year. Havingbeen around for many years he still shows promises of improvement. Bahrain Merida aims to the team as international as possible. Bringing on a Bahraini cyclist to the professional ranks is at the top of our list, thanks to 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, Bahrain – Merida is looking at more victories as far as numbers are concerned. If the riders do not sustain injuries alike 2017 we have a good possibility for 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 was put together andwe also believe that the team is very well balanced for the new season and, would be a thrilling race. Our philosophy is to always strive and work hard in all areas in order climb higher in all rankings in order to showcase the Bahrain – Merida name across the globe.