Plapp take lead after UAE TTT

21 Feb 2023

Plapp take lead after UAE TTT

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UAE Tour - Stage two: Khalifa Port › Khalifa Port TTT, 17.3km

Luke Plapp moved into a slender race lead at the UAE Tour following a strong performance from the INEOS Grenadiers in the stage two team time trial.

The Grenadiers clocked a time of 18 minutes and 20 seconds across the Khalifa Port course, finishing just three seconds back on winners Soudal - Quick-Step.

With times extremely tight, the result elevated Plapp into the leader's jersey, level on time with world champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal - Quick-Step), thanks to his strong showing and bonus seconds on the opening stage.

Plapp crossed the line alongside Josh Tarling, Elia Viviani and Ben Tulett, with strong early efforts from Ben Swift, Kim Heiduk and Cam Wurf helping to anchor a strong ride. The team got quicker across the course, setting Plapp up well for the coming days, as well as giving Tulett a springboard ahead of climbing tests to come.

Wednesday's stage features a summit finish on Jebel Jais, scene of one of Plapp's breakthrough rides 12 months ago.


- Luke Plapp

"I didn’t realise I was leading until they just announced the results. It was such a close race, with me and Remco now on the same time.
"This is the best discipline in cycling, the team time trial. It’s my favourite and I think people don’t realise how exciting it can be. There’s never big time gaps. It’s awesome to be in this jersey but as a team we’re in a really good spot now.
"The 18 year old (Tarling) is I think the strongest guy in our team here. It’s a pleasure to have Josh in our team, he’s such a big boy. He’s going to be a future Filippo Ganna I think. And Cam (Wurf) is so experienced, he’s been in the pro peloton for so long. He’s really good on a TT bike of course, he spends 180km in a race on it. It’s a great team we’ve got here – it’s a really good balance and I think we’re in a good spot heading into the next few days.
"Tomorrow it’s a mountain-top finish – anything can happen. Then hopefully we have a few easier sprint days and a big showdown on Jebel Hafeet."