Hackney cycling star Tao Geoghegan Hart says he is excitingly looking forward to a fresh new challenge with Lidl-Trek, writes Ziad Chaudry.

The 28-year-old signed a three-year deal with the American-based UCI cycling outfit after ending his seven-year association with INOES Grenadiers.

The highlight of his time with British-owned INOES Grenadiers (formerly Team Sky) was his Giro d’Italia title in 2020, while in April he won the 46th edition of the pre-Giro Tour of the Alps.

The former Stoke Newington school pupil is currently out of action and undergoing rehabilitation in Amsterdam for a fractured femur sustained after crashing out of this year’s Giro d’Italia in May.

Geoghegan Hart was contending for a second Giro title going into stage 11, placed third in the general classification, but was in a nasty collision with a group including INOES Grenadiers team-mate Geraint Thomas, who finished second to Team Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic, 69km from the finish in Tirtona.

He joins Danish sprint specialist Mads Pedersen, Bauke Mollerma, Jesper Stuyven and Toms Skujins in Lidl-Trek’s star-studded roster.

“After seven years within the same organisation there are many different emotions to approaching a new challenge in 2024,” said Arsenal fan Geoghegan Hart.

“However knowing plenty of faces within the Lidl-Trek organisation already and having had conversations with team bosses Luca Guercilena, Josu Larrazabal and Elke Weylandt in the past weeks, I'm really looking forward to this new chapter in my career come 2024.

"A new challenge is definitely exciting, to encounter different perspectives, athletes and cultures. That is one of my favourite things about cycling; the exploring and learning that we constantly encounter as athletes.

"With Lidl coming onboard as a new partner of the team, alongside Trek, who have owned the team for a long time now, it felt like a project I really wanted to be a part of at this moment in my career.

"The team has big goals and partners who are willing and able to support those ambitions. I believe I still have plenty of growth as an athlete and showed in 2023, up until the injury, what I can do as a leader.

"I’m incredibly motivated to get back to that feeling and place and believe Lidl-Trek will be a brilliant place for me to do so. I have great memories of working with Trek and SRAM in 2014, including developing the first-ever SRAM eTap group set, and I’m excited to see what further history we can write together."

When he does get back on the saddle next year Geoghegan Hart is keen to regain form and pick up more titles with his new team.

“It would be amiss not to simply aim to be back to my best physically, in terms of the numbers and level I know I can attain,” he added.

“From there, I'm really looking forward to bonding with faces new and old within the organisation to see what we can achieve at races together. Personally, I see myself as a Grand Tour rider, but I am really hungry to try to take wins in any race that I line up at throughout the season.

"I've raced for many years with Mads. We stood on the podium of Junior Paris Roubaix together some moons ago, and it's been a pleasure to see his career flourish as it has.

"I’ve also spent a lot of time training with Toms over the years, both in the states and Europe, so it will be fun to be teammates as well as training partners.

"Finally I’m really looking forward to supporting the Lidl-Trek Women’s team. They have had great success in the last years and I’ve long been a fan of them, so it will be great to race in the same jersey as them and call them teammates."