Lidl-Trek also announced the addition of Eritrean Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, who renewed with the team as a climbing domestique, as their 29th and final member for 2024.
Milan heads to Spain for a different season opener to his three years at Bahrain Victorious where he started in the Middle East at either the Saudi or UAE Tour, all with an eye on greater involvement in the Classics alongside Mads Pedersen.
“I feel great motivation and confidence. It’s the first race of a new adventure and project, I’m super excited about it. My condition is not at the top, but as I mentioned, it was a very specific choice,” said Milan in a press release.
“My and the Team’s ambition is to reach the first peak condition for the Classics. Volta Valenciana will tell me where I am at, where I need to improve and which aspects I need to focus on in the coming weeks.”
Milan is down to ride Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, Milan San Remo, Gent Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix before he goes back to the Giro d’Italia after winning a stage and the maglia ciclamino on debut there in 2023.
He will have experience on his side with Pedersen and former Milan-San Remo winner Jasper Stuyven already part of a solid Lidl-Trek Classics squad.
The 23-year-old hit the ground running in 2023 with a powerful sprint win at the Saudi Tour ahead of Dylan Groenewegen but is more focused on arriving at the Classics at that level after a disappointing campaign last year that was ruined by crashes and DNFs.
“I have to say it is what I would like to change in 2024 – in 2023 I was in good shape maybe too early in the beginning of the year because I was feeling really good in Saudi,” Milan told Cyclingnews at the team’s December training camp.
“I mean, I won a stage there and I’m happy about that, but my goal was the Classics… and it was not that good there.”
Milan’s results from last spring saw him well off the pace during opening weekend, Milan-San Remo and Brugge de Panne, alongside DNFs at all of Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix and Gent-Wevelgem.
He was able to laugh off how he “crashed three times on this knee in less than 10 days” with recurring pain stifling any chance of a good result before he recovered for the Giro and reached great success there on only the second…