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Poels leaves Team Ineos for Bahrain Merida

Poels leaves Team Ineos for Bahrain Merida

18/09/2019 at 14:13Updated 18/09/2019 at 15:48

Bahrain Merida have announced that Wout Poels will join their squad in 2020, moving from Team Ineos.

A veteran of 14 grand tours, Poels climbing played a supporting role in Team Sky and Ineos' successes at the Tour de France, helping Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal to overall victories.

This year, after Froome's season-ending crash, Poels took a more prominent role in the team at the Criterium du Dauphine, winning the seventh stage and finishing fourth in the classification.

Poels will once more find himself under the tutelage of former Sky coach Rod Ellingworth who joined the team this year.

"It’s impossible not to admire what Team Bahrain Merida has achieved in less than three seasons," Poels said.

"I look forward to playing a key part in its future success.”

"I will also find [there] Rod Ellingworth with whom I had a good experience in the past."

Our View

Wout Poels has been looking for a more prominent leadership role, so this move seems a sensible one for a rider who was facing ever stronger competition for the GC roles at Team Ineos.

Bahrain-Merida will have been an attractive proposition to Poels, not least because of the presence of Rod Ellingworth. It is a poorly-kept secret that the team are soon likely to become a McLaren outfit, which means extra investment and the likelihood of further big-name additions.

Poels' arrival follows hot on the heels of Mikel Landa's move to the team, while it has been strongly rumoured that Mark Cavendish may also be switching to the team ahead of the 2020 season.

- Views of Tom Bennett, Eurosport UK Cycling Editor

Video - Wout Poels snatches victory on saturated stage seven