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Eric Sheppard poses with his Plan B Racing teammates.
20-year-old earns early birthday present for himself on Asian Tour
Eric Sheppard (Plan B Racing), a graduate of the Victorian Institute of Sport, has conquered the 2.2 rated Tour d'Indonesia after seeing out the final day of racing on Wednesday around Jarak.
The diminuitive climber, who turns 21 on October 16, proved the strongest over the 10 days to take the biggest win of his so far short career. The victory was thanks to a determined effort from the Plan B Racing team who had a make-shift team of five riders in Indonesia against some of the best squads on the UCI's Asian Tour.
Team manager Wayne Evans praised the work of his riders and thanked the team's sponsors and supporters in a release.
"Eric is clearly a talented cyclist and has only been riding for a few short years, so to be able to win a 10 day international tour is a great display of his talent," said Evans. "It's a fantastic result."
"He had a great team behind him in a very experienced Nathan Dahlberg, Ex 7 Eleven and Motorola Pro who raced the Tour De France and major classics in Europe, Alex Malone and two new recruits to Plan B in Aaron Slavik and Luke Joyce. [The fact we also had] a local Indonesian Manager in Oki Rosgani also helped a lot, and he was a pleasure to work with.
Evans added that he was keen on keeping Sheppard with the team next year, and is exploring options at the moment to figure out an arrangement that suits all parties.
Plan B has enjoyed a rare run in Indonesia over the past month with Sam Davis coming close to overall victory himself in the recent Tour of East Java. The victory however marks the team's first stage race victory on the Asian Tour and continues their progression in the sport.