Ryan Gibbons claims Lidl-Trek’s first victory of 2024

Ryan Gibbons enjoyed a winning debut in Lidl-Trek colors with victory in the South African time trial championships

Ryan Gibbons started his chapter at Lidl-Trek in the best way possible by claiming the top spot in the race against the clock in Midvaal, South Africa. He stopped the clock in 46’50”, covering the 41km course with an average speed of 52km/h, over a minute ahead of his closest rival. Gibbons’ victory marks several significant milestones: his first race (and win) in Lidl-Trek colors, his third national title, as well as Lidl-Trek’s first success of the 2024 season.

It’s great to be the national champ again; it’s always a special feeling and privilege to wear the jersey and represent your nation. Also, being the first race I did representing Lidl-Trek, to be able to pull off a win is great. I’m very excited to wear the jersey as TT champ throughout the season.

It was my first race on a Trek bike, and specifically the Speed Concept, which is an absolute weapon. It really was super quick, I just had to climb on the bike to do the rest of the work. I’m really grateful to be on such a machine.

The national championships were circled as an important early-season goal for Gibbons, who has been specifically preparing for them with the help of his coach. With his win in the race of truth, the South African looks ahead to Sunday’s road race, where he will have to be at his best, tactically and physically, to thwart the competition.

“I’ve been working closely with my coach Mattias Reck, so we knew pretty much what to expect,” said the newly-crowned national champion. “It’s really hot here in South Africa at the moment, 30-35 degrees Celsius, and we’re at a bit of altitude around 1500 metres, so you have to pace things a little differently and you can’t expect to push the same numbers that you would in cooler weather at sea level. It was a nice long TT, pretty straightforward, not too technical. It was about the power and keeping fast, and we hit the nail on the head.

“Looking at the road race, I think I’m going in as the favourite, so I’ll be a marked man. Racing alone is never easy, but I’m really motivated and looking forward to a good battle. Hopefully we can get the double!”