Luke Plapp has joined the INEOS Grenadiers as a stagiaire ahead of his neo-pro contract starting with the team in 2022.

The Australian national TT champion, whose time trialling prowess has already captured the interest of many WorldTour teams, joins INEOS Grenadiers as a stagiaire from 1st August. 

In his short career, Plapp has already made a mark in the time trailing world, taking second in the junior time trial World Championships in 2018, he backed up that performance by taking the Australian national time trial title last year in the U23 race, and then again this year when he stepped up to race at elite level. 

Currently about to compete in Tokyo on the track for his national team, his sights are set on going for gold before he makes the transition over to his new European base, to start the next chapter in his fledgling cycling career with the INEOS Grenadiers.  
“It’s the team that everyone dreams of going to, it’s one I especially dreamt of going to, then when everything was signed it felt kinda crazy that it’s all going ahead,” Plapp said.  
Luke Plapp

Luke Plapp

“You look at how Geraint Thomas went from track to being a Grand Tour winner, and this is what gave me the encouragement to stick at the track seeing how that can then translate into success on the road.”
For young Australians, the track is the most trodden pathway to becoming a supported cyclist and moving up the ranks to professional, and for Plapp it’s been no different.   
“I look at other cyclists who have had great success and transitioned from track to road,” Plapp explained.

“You look at how G [Geraint Thomas] went from track to being a Grand Tour winner, and this is what gave me the encouragement to stick at the track seeing how that can then translate into success on the road.”

The Australian is a self-confessed ‘sports nut’, and has received guiding influence from the likes of swimming multi-gold medallist Libby Trickett, and was lucky enough to be in a sports-focused school where a number of his classmates are also forging their own paths within professional sport. But instead of swimming or Australian Rules Football, it was the aerodynamics of the time trial that lured him in.  
“I love the aerodynamic stuff on the road. I've got really stuck into the TTs and the way the sport is going at the moment. I enjoy going for that extra 1%, and watching the numbers it generates.” 

The road is where his passion truly lies, and the move to Europe is going to be a learning curve for him, not only in the style of racer he’ll become, but also the different terrains racing in Europe involves.
Introducing... Luke Plapp

Introducing... Luke Plapp

INEOS Grenadiers Director of Racing, Rod Ellingworth, believes that Plapp will be a great fit to the team and is on a voyage of discovery as to where his strengths will complement the team dynamic: “We’re delighted to have Luke join us for 2022. It’s been a tough period over the last 18 months for promising young riders to really be able to demonstrate their potential, due to the lack of racing available across the U23 category, especially riders from the Oceania region. 
"But, we’ve been impressed with what we have seen so far. Here at the team we have a history of developing track riders into world class road racers, like what we have done with Bradley and Geraint. We look forward to Luke coming on board after the Olympics to start his time with the team in preparation for the 2022 season.”

Plapp will have the chance to race some of the European races left this season, although exactly which races are yet to be confirmed.

“I haven’t done a whole lot of racing over in Europe, so for example I haven’t raced the cobbled races, but based off what I know about myself as a rider so far, the medium punchy climbs, up to about 20 minutes long, and the TTs are what suit me, I think I’ll be an all-rounder,” Plapp explained.

“But that’s what the first few years are all about, getting to know what you’re going to be good at, and what suits me and the kind of role I can play in the team.”