Credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti Stefano/Imago/PA Images

The Bahrain-McLaren World Tour cycling team has announced that McLaren will conclude its title partnership at the end of the 2020 season, citing that the British manufacturer looks to ‘return its focus to four-wheeled racing.’

McLaren had only partnered with the previously named Bahrain-Merida last year, taking a 50 per cent stake of the cycling team. However, it has been well documented that McLaren, along with other firms, have taken financial hits due to the global health pandemic. As a result in May the manufacturer announced 1200 redundancies out of its total employment of 4000 people.

A Bahrain-McLaren spokesperson stated: “Bahrain World Tour Cycling Team and McLaren, the British supercar maker and F1 team, today confirm that McLaren will conclude its title partnership of Team Bahrain McLaren at the end of the 2020 season. 

“Team Bahrain McLaren has worked together with the team’s partners to maintain the team at the top level of pro cycling – both on and off the bike. The distinctive Team Bahrain McLaren colours have been ridden to a number of memorable victories so far in this COVID-19 interrupted season, including at the Saudi Tour, Paris-Nice, Circuito de Getxo and Route d’Occitanie.The team thanks McLaren for its contribution to the partnership, and wishes it well as it returns its focus to four wheeled racing.”

During the Bahrain-McLaren relaunch, the team made a number of significant high level appointments and signing including hiring former Team Sky coach Rod Ellingworth as its team principal and securing Mark Cavendish in its line-up for the 2020 campaign.

The news of McLaren’s imminent departure comes just before the start of the Tour de France, which was rescheduled to August 29 due to the global health pandemic.