Luke Plapp wins Santos Festival of Cycling stage 2

Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) won stage 2 of the men’s National Road Series (NRS) race at the Santos Festival of Cycling, taking off on the final climb and then pushing the pace on the descent to quickly pull out a gap on the chasing group.

The 20-year-old Australian was leading an ever diminishing group of riders up the Fox Creek climb, which peaked less than 10 kilometres from the finish line, when he attacked from the front.

“That was pretty unreal. I had my eyes set on that,” said Plapp straight after the stage. "I didn’t have to do a turn all day. The boys looked after me. I was just glad to be able to finish it off.” 

Although his rivals saw the move coming there was little they could do to respond.

“Luke Plapp did an amazing effort with about 200 metres to go of that climb. we were there but couldn’t do anything about it,” said the overall race leader Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange). 

“I think he knows that climb and knows that descent, so it was an impressive ride, chapeau to him. But yeah, we kept the jersey and we’re fine, so another day." 

It was a performance that moved Plapp into second place on the overall behind Durbridge, who carries a 2:10 lead into stage 3, which includes Willunga Hill.

How it unfolded

As the flag dropped on the 116 kilometre stage 2 from Birdwood to Lobethal there was the usual battle to establish a break, with Joshua Wilson (Velofit Racing) getting the first gap that stuck and Jumbo-Visma rider Chris Harper, racing for Cervelo-Tonsley Village at the event, coming out to join him. Then 2020 NRS winner Brendon Johnston and Cyrus Monk (CycleHouse Racing) also bridged the gap.

The quartet worked together over the lumpy terrain, but the peloton behind were keen to keep the gap under control, playing cat and mouse for a while, with Team BikeExchange and Team Garmin Australia working out the front. The group was pulled back in, with Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) doing a considerable amount to close down the gap for his teammates, before the final climb of the day.

The Fox Creek climb, peaking less than 10 kilometres from the finish line, was a clear launching point so the pressure was on and the field quickly split as riders worked their way up the hill, which had an average gradient of 8.8 per cent.

Race leader Durbridge was never far from the front, making sure he held onto that solid gap on the overall which was 2:28 at the start of the stage. However there was no stopping track rider Plapp going off the front and charging toward the line.

Tim Roe (Cervelo-Tonsley Village) also pulled away from the chasing group, which he just held to the line. Not realising Plapp had escaped, he threw his hands up in the air in celebration but then realised that he would be settling for second.  Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) won the sprint for third. 

Now the race heads to Willunga Hill on stage 3, with Durbridge still holding a commanding lead. Teammate Damien Howson, however, wasn’t as fortunate with a crash on the final descent taking off skin and sending him from third in the overall to 24th place.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 2:38:42
2Tim Roe (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:00:33
3Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange)
4Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia)
5Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane)
6Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make)
7Sam Crome (St George Continental Cycling Team)
8Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
9Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
10Ben Metcalfe (Team Bridgelane)
11Dylan McKenna (Nero Continental)
12Oli Stenning (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
13Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team)
14Carter Turnbull (InForm TM Insight Make)
15Cameron Meyer (Team BikeExchange)
16Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange)
17Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 0:00:39
18Angus Lyons (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:01:07
19Kaine Cannan (Velofit Australia) 0:01:19
20Elliot Schultz (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:01:21
21Connor Reardon (St George Continental Cycling Team)
22Reece Tucknott (CCS Cycling)
23Daniel Siwek (Butterfields Racing)
24Will Maloney-Morton (Cycle House Racing)
25Jimmy Whelan (Team Garmin Australia) 0:01:24
26Justin Gassner (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
27Tristen Saunders (Butterfields Racing) 0:01:42
28Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia)
29Alex Holden (GIANT Racing Team) 0:01:44
30Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling)
31Chris Luxton (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
32Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
33Myles Stewart (Nero Continental)
34Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
35Oliver Anderson (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
36Riley Fleming (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
37Pat Drapac (Cycle House Racing)
38Zac Johnson (InForm TM Insight Make)
39Sam Volkers (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
40Mark O'Brien (InForm TM Insight Make)
41Marcus Culey (WorldTour Composite Team)
42Will Golding (Butterfields Racing)
43Mattew Harvey (Velofit Australia) 0:01:47
44Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 0:02:29
45Zachary Marriage (Butterfields Racing)
46Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) 0:02:31
47Cameron Ivory (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:00:33
48Nicholas White (Team Bridgelane) 0:02:32
49Terance Hore (Cycle House Racing)
50Godfrey Slattery (GIANT Racing Team)
51Jacob Langham (Velofit Australia)
52Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing)
53Kane Richards (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:00:33
54Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) 0:04:09
55Matthew Rice (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:04:12
56Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia)
57Zack Barnhill (St George Continental Cycling Team)
58Lionel Mawditt (St George Continental Cycling Team)
59Adam Blazevic (GIANT Racing Team)
60Rudy Porter (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:04:33
61Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:05:44
62Will Hodges (GIANT Racing Team)
63Bryce Lanigan (Velofit Australia)
64Sam Jenner (Team Bridgelane) 0:00:33
65Drew Morey (Team Bridgelane) 0:05:56
66Jordan Kerby (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:07:56
67Carter Bettles (St George Continental Cycling Team)
68Rylan Dowdell (Butterfields Racing) 0:08:42
69Jason Thomason (Butterfields Racing)
70Campbell Jones (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
71Bill Simpson (GIANT Racing Team)
72Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
73David Randall (Butterfields Racing)
74Cam Roberts (CCS Cycling)
75Conor Leahy (WorldTour Composite Team)
76Ryan Cavanagh (St George Continental Cycling Team)
77Liam White (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:08:49
78Alex Bogna (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:09:54
79Lucas Hamilton (Team BikeExchange) 0:11:32
80Steele van Hoff (InForm TM Insight Make)
81Blake Quick (InForm TM Insight Make)
82Josh Duffy (WorldTour Composite Team)
83Alex Porter (Team Garmin Australia)
84Alex Edmondson (Team BikeExchange)
85Ben Hill (Team Bridgelane) 0:00:33
DNFLeigh Howard (Team Garmin Australia)
DNFBailey Waters (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
DNFPatrick Saccani-Williams (Velofit Australia)
DNFJosh Harrison (GIANT Racing Team)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
General classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 5:13:53
2Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 0:02:10
3Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:02:28
4Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:02:33
5Tim Roe (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:02:51
6Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 0:02:53
7Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 0:02:54
8Sam Crome (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:02:57
9Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
10Ben Metcalfe (Team Bridgelane)
11Carter Turnbull (InForm TM Insight Make)
12Kane Richards (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
13Ben Hill (Team Bridgelane)
14Dylan McKenna (Nero Continental) 0:03:01
15Cameron Meyer (Team BikeExchange)
16Oli Stenning (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:03:04
17Angus Lyons (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:03:34
18Kaine Cannan (Velofit Australia) 0:03:43
19Connor Reardon (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:03:45
20Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling) 0:04:06
21Riley Fleming (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:04:08
22Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 0:04:50
23Nicholas White (Team Bridgelane) 0:05:08
24Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) 0:06:08
25Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:06:41
26Mark O'Brien (InForm TM Insight Make)
27Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) 0:07:28
28Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia) 0:09:07
29Sam Jenner (Team Bridgelane) 0:14:09
30Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 0:14:28
31Matthew Rice (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:14:36
32Rudy Porter (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:15:58
33Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) 0:17:05
34Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team)
35Cameron Ivory (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
36Richie Porte (Team Garmin Australia) 0:17:11
37Will Maloney-Morton (Cycle House Racing) 0:17:53
38Reece Tucknott (CCS Cycling)
39Daniel Siwek (Butterfields Racing)
40Elliot Schultz (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
41Justin Gassner (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:17:56
42Jimmy Whelan (Team Garmin Australia)
43Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia) 0:18:12
44Tristen Saunders (Butterfields Racing) 0:18:14
45Chris Luxton (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 0:18:16
46Oliver Anderson (CERVELO-Tonsley Village)
47Alex Holden (GIANT Racing Team)
48Myles Stewart (Nero Continental)
49Marcus Culey (WorldTour Composite Team)
50Zac Johnson (InForm TM Insight Make)
51Pat Drapac (Cycle House Racing)
52Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
53Sam Volkers (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
54Will Golding (Butterfields Racing)
55Mattew Harvey (Velofit Australia) 0:18:19
56Zachary Marriage (Butterfields Racing) 0:19:01
57Godfrey Slattery (GIANT Racing Team) 0:19:04
58Jacob Langham (Velofit Australia)
59Terance Hore (Cycle House Racing)
60Adam Blazevic (GIANT Racing Team) 0:20:44
61Zack Barnhill (St George Continental Cycling Team)
62Lionel Mawditt (St George Continental Cycling Team)
63Bryce Lanigan (Velofit Australia) 0:22:16
64Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
65Will Hodges (GIANT Racing Team)
66Drew Morey (Team Bridgelane) 0:22:28
67Jordan Kerby (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 0:24:28
68Carter Bettles (St George Continental Cycling Team)
69David Randall (Butterfields Racing) 0:25:14
70Conor Leahy (WorldTour Composite Team)
71Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
72Rylan Dowdell (Butterfields Racing)
73Jason Thomason (Butterfields Racing)
74Campbell Jones (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
75Bill Simpson (GIANT Racing Team)
76Cam Roberts (CCS Cycling)
77Ryan Cavanagh (St George Continental Cycling Team)
78Liam White (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:25:21
79Alex Bogna (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:26:26
80Josh Duffy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:28:04
81Lucas Hamilton (Team BikeExchange)
82Steele van Hoff (InForm TM Insight Make)
83Alex Porter (Team Garmin Australia)
84Blake Quick (InForm TM Insight Make)
85Alex Edmondson (Team BikeExchange)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 6
2Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 6
3Raphael Freiensten (InForm TM Insight Make) 5
4Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 3
5Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 3
6Tim Roe (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 2
7Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling) 2
8Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 2
9Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) 2
10Sam Welsford (Team Garmin Australia) 2
11Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia) 2
12Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 7
2Cyrus Monk (Cycle House Racing) 7
3Luke Durbridge (Team BikeExchange) 5
4Matt Ross (Cycle House Racing) 5
5Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team) 5
6Joshua Wilson (Velofit Australia) 5
7Chris Harper (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 3
8Brendon Davids (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 3
9Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 3
10Cameron Ivory (CERVELO-Tonsley Village) 3
11Kane Richards (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team) 2
12Ben Hill (Team Bridgelane) 2
13Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 1
14Brendon Johnston (CCS Cycling) 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Young riders
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luke Plapp (Team Garmin Australia) 5:16:03
2Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange) 0:00:43
3Kelland O'Brien (Team Garmin Australia) 0:00:44
4Ben Metcalfe (Team Bridgelane) 0:00:47
5Carter Turnbull (InForm TM Insight Make)
6Dylan McKenna (Nero Continental) 0:00:51
7Oli Stenning (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:00:54
8Connor Reardon (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:01:35
9Riley Fleming (OLIVERS Real Food Racing) 0:01:58
10Zack Gilmore (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:04:31
11Cooper Sayers (Nero Continental) 0:12:18
12Matthew Rice (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:12:26
13Rudy Porter (InForm TM Insight Make) 0:13:48
14Jensen Plowright (Team Bridgelane) 0:14:55
15Seb Berwick (WorldTour Composite Team)
16Will Maloney-Morton (Cycle House Racing) 0:15:43
17Daniel Siwek (Butterfields Racing)
18Tristen Saunders (Butterfields Racing) 0:16:04
19Myles Stewart (Nero Continental) 0:16:06
20Zac Johnson (InForm TM Insight Make)
21Craig Wiggins (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast)
22Will Golding (Butterfields Racing)
23Mattew Harvey (Velofit Australia) 0:16:09
24Zachary Marriage (Butterfields Racing) 0:16:51
25Godfrey Slattery (GIANT Racing Team) 0:16:54
26Terance Hore (Cycle House Racing)
27Adam Blazevic (GIANT Racing Team) 0:18:34
28Zack Barnhill (St George Continental Cycling Team)
29Bryce Lanigan (Velofit Australia) 0:20:06
30Thomas Bolton (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
31Carter Bettles (St George Continental Cycling Team) 0:22:18
32Conor Leahy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:23:04
33Brad Soden (MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team)
34Campbell Jones (OLIVERS Real Food Racing)
35Bill Simpson (GIANT Racing Team)
36Alex Bogna (ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast) 0:24:16
37Josh Duffy (WorldTour Composite Team) 0:25:54
38Blake Quick (InForm TM Insight Make)
Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Garmin Australia 7:57:18
2Team BikeExchange 0:00:27
3CERVELO-Tonsley Village
4Team Bridgelane
5InForm TM Insight Make 0:01:38
6ARA Pro-Racing Sunshine Coast 0:02:12
7MEIYO CCN Pro Cycling Team 0:02:26
8Nero Continental 0:03:34
9Butterfields Racing 0:03:35
10Velofit Australia 0:03:36
11Cycle House Racing 0:04:24
12St George Continental Cycling Team 0:04:54
13OLIVERS Real Food Racing 0:06:49
14GIANT Racing Team 0:07:16
15WorldTour Composite Team 0:09:47
16CCS Cycling 0:10:35

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Production editor

Simone joined the team as Production Editor based in Australia at the start of the 2021 season, having previously worked as Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg.

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