It was also a case of third time’s a charm for Lidl-Trek new recruit Jonathan Milan who sprinted to his first victory for the Team on Stage 3 at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
Lidl-Trek has been knocking on the door of victory at the Spanish stage race since day one with Milan fifth on the opening stage, winning the bunch sprint behind the successful breakaway, and Simone Consonni third on stage 2. However, stage 3 was the day everything came together perfectly with Milan taking the top spot on the podium after a flawless team peformance on the road to Orihuela.
The plan was clear going into the 161.3-kilometer-long stage and that was to deliver Milan into the right position to be able to sprint for the victory. Mission complete.
Lidl-Trek was the Team everyone was looking at to control the race and with the belief all six riders had in each other going into the day, they took responsibility quickly and with confidence. There was the potential for things to get a hectic in the finale, with the breakaway caught only two kilometers from the finish, but the Team maintained the composure they had shown all day. Milan was kept well-positioned and out of trouble at the final kilometer and everything went as expected.
“This is a really special victory, my first with my new team. It’s a big emotion. This season is an important one for me so it’s really great to be able to start it in this way. Coming into this race, I was really believing in our possibilities as a whole team. We are here with one goal, to bring home results for Lidl-Trek and I think in these first three days we really did that. Winning it was like crowning our teamwork.
“Today we had eyes on us and we knew we had to take responsibility to lead the race. We did such an amazing job together. We kept the situation under control and even if the finale was a bit hectic we didn’t have any worry. The guys really supported me during the full stage and especially in the final kilometers. They put me in the perfect position for the sprint and I really have to say thanks to them. I am so, so happy to have taken this victory for and with them.
“Our approach to the race, our desire to work together is what is most valuable about this success. The expectation on the eve of the race was to race as a team and we achieved that goal in a big way. I felt so much confidence from day one, I couldn’t have asked for better. It’s a huge confidence boost for what’s to come.”