When Jake Stewart lines up at Milano – Torino on Wednesday, it will almost feel like the first day at school. The 24-year-old’s debut with IPT may have been postponed due to injury but after an 11-week recovery and return to race form, Stewart is more than ready to pin those numbers on.

“I think it goes without saying that I’m super excited to pin a number on this week at Milano – Torino and start the season for 2024,” says Stewart. “It has been a really long 11 weeks. The build up in the winter was going really well and then it was disrupted a bit with an injury so I’m really motivated.

“Training has been going really well, I’ve been working really well with the team’s coaches, physios and medical staff and we all believe I am in a really good place to start racing. The numbers in training have also been really encouraging so I think it’s going to be a good race to start my season at. With a new team, I want to come in and show what I can really do.”

Stewart’s 2024 race debut will see him unite with British compatriot and friend Ethan Vernon, who will line up as IPT’s leader at the 177-kilometer race from Rho to Salassa.

Obviously, it’s a really good opportunity for Ethan in the sprint. That kind of finish is pretty perfect for him so I hope I can be there with him in the final and do a good job as his last man and get a bit of practice in before we go to the Giro d’Italia. That’s the main plan, to reacquaint ourselves and get stuck into the sprints there. So, I’m super excited and can’t wait to get going,” adds Stewart.

Joining Stewart and Vernon at the start line are Nick Schultz (AUS), Riley Sheehan (USA), Nadav Raisberg (ISR), and IPT Academy riders Pier-André Coté (CAN) and Moritz Kretschy (GER).