Luke Plapp has secured his third consecutive national title in winning the Elite Road Race at Buningyong on Sunday.
In wet conditions Plapp crossed the line alongside Team Jayco AlUla teammate Chris Harper while Kelland O’Brien took the final podium spot.
Plapp and Harper went clear with more than 100km to go as they jumped away from a dangerous breakaway group that formed early in the 16-lap race. Once the pair had a gap there was no looking back as the advantage grew lap after lap while O’Brien formed part of a three-rider chase group behind.
With more than six minutes over the chasers, Plapp and Harper were able to savour the moment on the final lap as they shared a smile before crossing the line together to finish the historic ride.
Full Podium Clean Sweep
O’Brien then made it an historic day for GreenEDGE Cycling as he sprinted home to take third place and the full podium for the team. The result was the third podium clean sweep for the team after Plapp, Harper and Michael Hepburn in the time trial and a Liv AlUla Jayco one, two, three in the criterium.
Luke Plapp said “the Aussies are back, GreenEDGE is back!”
“That was amazing out there, I think from the gun we had everything under control and me and Harper had a great time out there, I can’t thank him enough,” he said.
“We just wanted to be in control the whole time and I think we saw it, we knew we could take control early and once we were out there we always had it in the bag. It was an amazing team effort, from Blake [Quick] at the start, Rudy [Porter] following the moves, then Kell, we were never out of it.”
Chris Harper said he was thrilled to make it a 1 – 2 over the line with teammate Luke Plapp.
“I think from the start we were all on top of it, Plappy and I came across the line one-two and it really was a team effort, everybody played their part. We had numbers and could dictate the race.”
“Plappy was absolutely flying at the end there,” jhe continued. “I had to tell him to ease up a little for me, but it’s a great day and a good hit out for us going to Tour Down Under next week.”
2024 Australian Road Race Championships – Men
1. Luke Plapp (Team Jayco AlUla) 4:34:26
2. Chris Harper (Team Jayco AlUla) ST
3. Kelland O’Brien (Team Jayco AlUla) +6:09