Poels leaves Team Ineos for Bahrain Merida
Bahrain Merida have announced that Wout Poels will join their squad in 2020, moving from Team Ineos.
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."
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.
- Views of Tom Bennett, Eurosport UK Cycling Editor