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McLaren pulling out of Bahrain WorldTour team

LONDON (Reuters) - Iconic supercar builder and F1 team McLaren’s involvement in WorldTour cycling will end after just one year, the Bahrain-McLaren team announced on Wednesday, three days ahead of the start of the Tour de France.

Lauched last December at it’s state-of-the-art factory in Woking, McLaren’s co-sponsorship of the former Bahrain-Merida outfit was touted as a challenge to the dominant Team Ineos.

But in a statement the team, bankrolled by the Bahrain royal family, said McLaren was returning its focus to four wheels.

“Bahrain World Tour Cycling Team and McLaren, the British super car maker and F1 team, today confirm that McLaren will conclude its title partnership of Team Bahrain McLaren at the end of the 2020 season,” it said.

“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.”

Sporting the distinctive orange livery of the famous sportscars, the team which includes the likes of Tour de France contender Mikel Landa and British sprinting great Mark Cavendish, achieved some notable results this season.

“The team thanks McLaren for its contribution to the partnership, and wishes it well as it returns its focus to four wheeled racing,” the statement said.

Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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