Luke Plapp makes WorldTour debut with Ineos at UAE Tour

BUNINYONG AUSTRALIA JANUARY 16 Lucas Plapp of Australia celebrates at finish line as race winner during the Australian Cycling National Championships 2022 Mens Elite Road Race a 1856km race from Buninyong to Buninyong AusCyclingAus on January 16 2022 in Buninyong Australia Photo by Con ChronisGetty Images
Luke Plapp (Ineos Grenadiers) taking out Australia's elite men's road race title 2022 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Luke Plapp may be lining up in his first WorldTour race at the UAE Tour with the jersey of the Australian road champion on his back, but is quick to point out that winning while racing with his new team in Europe is perhaps a priority for another season. The debut year with Ineos-Grenadiers for the 21-year-old is all about taking the steps that will help benefit his long term development.

“The beauty of riding for Ineos is they've got so many winners already on the team that they're not looking for those results out of their young guys,” Plapp told Cyclingnews in Australia ahead of the 2022 season. “They're letting them develop and learn and then turn into winners.” 

A steep learning curve always awaits new professional riders, but for many Australian riders, the gradient can be intense. Even at the best of times riders from the nation can find it hard to replicate the European experience, with domestic races generally shorter and pelotons smaller, but with the COVID-19 pandemic playing havoc with international and domestic borders alike, even the top-tier level of Australia racing has been severely curtailed in recent years. Layer over that the fact that Plapp’s focus heading into the Olympic Games was largely track based, and the rider is acutely aware that his first goal needs to simply be accruing hours of racing on the road.

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Simone Giuliani
Australia Editor

Simone is a degree-qualified journalist that has accumulated decades of wide-ranging experience while working across a variety of leading media organisations. She joined Cyclingnews as a Production Editor at the start of the 2021 season and has now moved into the role of Australia Editor. Previously she worked as a freelance writer, Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg. Cycling was initially purely a leisure pursuit for Simone, who started out as a business journalist, but in 2015 her career focus also shifted to the sport.