The WorldTour team has joined the likes of Groupama-FDJ, Team dsm-firmenich, Lotto-Dstny, and EF Education-EasyPost as a top-level programme running a Continental development team next year, with such squads developing and promoting their own talent.
Kessler is one of 14 riders from 10 countries on the new Lidl-Trek devo squad. The 20-year-old makes the switch from the Israel-Premier Tech Academy team after two seasons there.
The Californian will be joined in the squad by Danish trio Kristian Egholm, Patrick Boje Frydjkær and Martin Pedersen as well as German trio Niklas Behrens, Louis Leidert and Tim Torn Teutenberg.
Cameron Rogers (Australia), Axandre Van Petegem (Belgium), Nils Aebersold (Switzerland), Liam O’Brien (Ireland), Mats Wenzel (Luxembourg), Matteo Milan (Italy), and Jakob Söderqvist (Sweden) complete the squad, which is headed up by general manager, the former Trek racer Markel Irizar.
“Honestly, I’m really looking forward to the start of this program,” Irizar said. “To have our own project is going to be super interesting. It will be a long-term project so we can really plan for the future of this team.
“Looking to our roster we have more fast guys and classics-style riders. We might miss a little bit in the long climbs, but I think we will be very good in the sprints and the cobbles. For me, the most important is that we start well with a good image and that we are able to show the team spirit we have.”
Team directeur sportif Sebastian Andersen – the son of WorldTour team DS Kim Andersen – said that he’s excited to get started working with the range of talent and personalities at the new team.
“I’m immensely happy, completely over the moon and I feel proud and honoured to be invited to join this group of amazing people,” he said. “I know the team very well as my father, Kim, is already a Lidl-Trek director.
“I know it’s an amazing team and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it. After spending a few days at Trek HQ in Waterloo I’ve been blown away by how amazing the company is; the values and culture, you can feel that it’s a close organization that also performs well.
“All new teams have to start from somewhere, but with the group of riders that Markel has assembled, I’m really, really excited about it because there is some really good talent in there and good…