Stevie Williams will step to the WordTour with Team Bahrain Merida
Our Welsh climber, Stephen Williams, will join WorldTour’s Bahrain Merida from August the 1st as a trainee followed by a 2-year deal. The 22-year old, who seized the overall victory in the Ronde de l’Isard, joined the Academy two years ago and developed into one of the best climbers in the U23 ranks. “Joining Bahrain Merida is a great privilege for me, I am over the moon to be stepping up to WorldTour with them. I am looking forward to being part of this journey, I feel like it is the perfect stepping stone for me to learn, develop, improve and progress in cycling. I am really happy and looking forward to the next 2 years. The traineeship is the perfect opportunity for me to find my feet within the team, and meet everybody. That will make the transition a lot easier in 2019.” highlights the Welsh rider. 

Williams was recruited by the Academy ahead of the 2017 season. Together with the Performance Management, a 2-year plan based on individualized training and racing programs was created in order to enhance his development as a rider. The Welshman already showed himself in 2017 after powering to second in Flèche Ardennaise, but all the knowledge acquired in that first year, together with the proper training guidance paid off in 2018. Williams took the overall win in Ronde de l’Isard alongside two stage victories before wearing pink and winning a mountaintop finish in the Giro d’Italia U23. “The past two years with SEG Racing Academy have been the most helpful and important years in my cycling career so far. The professionalism the team has it makes it the perfect place to learn and make the next step. On and off the bike the team put the best race program together for us U23 riders to develop. Working together with such a qualified and dedicated Performance Staff helps you to make big steps forward in your development, after two years on the team I can not thank everyone enough”. 

Bart van Haaren, Academy Manager:
“We are really happy to see Stevie moving up to the WorldTour after all the hard work that he and everyone in the Academy have been doing. When he came in we traced a development plan that was built around the hardest and toughest stage races in our program, and his results in 2018 prove that the plan clearly worked and we developed him into one of the best riders of the category”. 

Martijn Berkhout, SEG Cycling Director and UCI Licensed Agent: 
“There was a lot of interest for Stevie but Bahrain Merida offered a development plan that perfectly matched his needs in order to progress and improve in the professional ranks. They will provide him with the best assistance and a racing program that will allow him to fulfill the expectations and keep on growing as a rider. We know he is in good hands with Bahrain Merida, a great team that knows how to work with some of the biggest talents”.