Joe Blackmore has stood on the podium more times than any other Israel – Premier Tech rider so far this year and after narrowly missing the podium at De Brabanste Pijl on Wednesday, where he was instrumental in helping Dylan Teuns secure second place, he has his sights set on tomorrow’s Liège – Bastogne – Liège U23.

With three General Classification wins at the Tour du Rwanda, Tour de Taiwan, and Circuit des Ardennes, and another three stage wins to his name so far in 2024, 21-year-old Blackmore expects a target on his back at the 169-kilometer race.

I’ve had a few days to recover since De Brabanste Pijl so the confidence is high for Liège – Bastogne – Liège on Saturday,” explains Blackmore. “I think I will have a bit of a target on my back but we have a good team and the team morale is really high so we have to just go into the race stress-free. It will be my first time at this race but I like to make decisions out on the road so we need to see how the race plays out.”

Blackmore is joined by Alvaro Garcia Jimenez, Daniel Lima, Jesse Maris, and Pau Marti Soriano and while Blackmore will have the full support of his IPT Academy teammates, Manager Tim Elverson is confident in the whole team’s ability to animate the race.

We have done three recon rides across the last three days so the guys know the course well,” says Elverson. “Of course, Joe is in exceptional form, but I believe he is still on his way up and with the whole team in good shape, we need to be on the front foot with all six of them throughout the race. There is a good field of riders so for us, a hard race is a good race as that is when we can really put the peloton to the test. I’m excited to see what the guys can do tomorrow.”