Welsh cyclist Stephen Williams to turn pro with Bahrain Merida
Stephen Williams has signed for UCI WorldTour team Bahrain Merida.
The 22-year-old Welshman will join on 1 August as a trainee for the remainder of the year, before taking up a two-year professional contract in 2019.
Newport-born Williams has been with SEG Racing Academy since 2017 and the climbing specialist won a mountain stage at the 2018 U23 Giro d'Italia.
"I'm so happy... this is the perfect team for me to learn and develop as a young climber," Williams said.
"I'm over the moon to be turning pro and moving to the highest level of cycling, this will give me the opportunity to race the biggest races in the world.
"I've looked up to Vincenzo Nibali [the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana winner] for a number of years now and to be able to race along side him for the next few years is something special for me."