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“We are satisfied and eager to have Gorazd Štangelj and Mario Chiesa in our management team and we expect that they will lead the team in the most professional of way."

Photo: A.S.O.


22.08.2016 @ 16:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Experienced Sport Director and ex cyclist Gorazd Štangelj has signed a contractto be Head Sport Director of BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team.


Gorazd Štangelj, born in 1973 in Slovenia, has been connected to cycling almost all his life. As a young and talented cyclist he became a pro road rider. He entered the pro peloton in 1997 and was considered to be a strong stage race rider in different teams until 2011. He later continued his professional career in cycling. His role in WorldTour teams ha been as a Sport Director and he is also selector of the National Slovenian Cycling Team.


From 2017 onwards, he will work for BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team as an experienced and focused Sports Director. Speaking about joining the BAHRAIN MERIDA Pro Cycling Team, Štangelj commented.


“I was immediately interested in the idea of structuring a new team. In a way it is a challenge, and I am sure it will be much more likely to achieve the objectives. The fact is that cycling has recently changed a lot. Now we can call it “the new cycling” and that new era needs younger leaders. I look forward to our young team and to work with co-workers with whom I once raced together. We know each other very well and we fully trust each other. This trust and made me take the final decision for this new exciting adventure of my career.”


The Italian Mario Chiesa is also named as one of the Sports Directors of the new squad of the Kingdom of Bahrain. A former top pro cyclist, he never said goodbye to the cycling world. He started as sSports Director at top-level teams.


“It is always nice to start a new adventure and in this case be part of it from the beginning. So I will have the chance to be involved in the birth of the Team and it is for sure exciting to enjoy the idea of giving my own contribution to the achievement of this project. Maybe the start will not be easy, but with seriousness, commitment and the right choices, we can achieve a great deal soon. Personally, it will be an experience full of new excitements and in particular I will be very glad to work again with Vincenzo Nibali. Our paths crossed when he was a neo pro at the Fassa Bortolo, then I watched him grow up at Liquigas, where we won some races together. It will be interesting to meet him again in a ‘different guise’ as we parted when he was not the accomplished champion of nowadays, but he was on the way to becoming it."


Brent Copeland, General Manager of the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, expressed his thoughts about the Teams choice of the Head Sport Director and one of the Sport Directors:


“We are satisfied and eager to have Gorazd Štangelj and Mario Chiesa in our management team and we expect that they will lead the team in the most professional of way, both with strategy and on the organizational level which is one of the most important points in today's sport which is very complex with logistics and organization. With both being ex-cyclists and with their rich careers and experience, they both can understand the needs from both sides easier  – from the perspective of the management and from the perspective of the cyclists who have their own visions and ways to make progress. Knowing both, we are very sure they are the right persons to bring an important asset to the team.” 


The team has signed three riders: Vincenzo Nibali, Manuele Boaro and Giovanni Visconti, and is expected to take over most of the Lampre-Merida roster and their license.



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