Plapp powers to back-to-back titles

08 Jan 2023

Plapp powers to back-to-back titles

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Luke Plapp put in a sensational and gutsy ride to win back to back Australian national road race titles.

The 22 year old had to get through a lot of work across the 185.6-kilometre course in Buninyong, but still had the energy left for a pair of stinging attacks on the run-in.

The first big acceleration came with 7.2km to go, with the Grenadier launching a move to put a select lead group on to the limit. Just four riders entered the long finishing straight together, and with a group bearing down behind Plapp timed his final move to perfection, jumping clear again with 1.5km to go.

There would be no catching Plappy, who held on to claim a second road title to ensure he’ll remain in the famous green and gold jersey for another season on the road. Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) and Michael Matthews (Team Jayco AlUla) rounded out the podium places. 
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Reaction

“I can’t believe that. I’ve seriously got no words, that was so much different to last year. I’ve been wrapping my brain around that for the whole year trying to work out how to win. I’m lost for words to be honest with you.

“There wasn’t really anyone missing here today and it’s so awesome to have a race like this. I almost wish that I was just watching from the sidelines as it was such an amazing field. I didn’t know how to play it today I really just tried to bide my time. I don’t know what happened on that last lap but I can’t believe I pulled it off.

“I felt good all race. There was that big move at the start that me, Beno and Clarkey missed that was really dangerous. We all looked at each other and said we need to go all in and did a really hard climb to bring that back. That kept us in the race. After that the heat sort of dwindled down everyone. It was a really weird race it was quite negative, it wasn’t that quick considering the field that we had. But on that last lap I still don’t know what happened – I can’t believe it!”

“I can’t wait to go over there. Keep this jersey, keep this bike and start the Tour Down Under.”