"In the Vuelta for example, I could pursue an individual classification for once" - Laurens De Plus keen for leadership opportunities at INEOS

The INEOS Grenadiers lit up the final stage of the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine. After working on the peloton all day, Carlos Rodriguez and Laurens De Plus were protagonists on the final climb of the day, with the Spaniard being rewarded for his efforts with a stage win.

Whilst Rodriguez will now lead the INEOS Grenadiers charge for the Maillot Jaune at the Tour de France later this summer, for De Plus, it will be more domestique riding at the upcoming Grand Tour. Giving his consistently impressive performances in the role over recent seasons however, has the Belgian earned himself a chance to ride with the team behind him?

"I know my role within the team. I am happy there and know what I came to this team for. Everything is in function of Rodríguez and Egan Bernal and I am very happy with that," De Plus assesses of his status within the INEOS Grenadiers in conversation with Het Nieuwsblad, after the conclusion of the Dauphine. "That Carlos still wins the stage here is fantastic for the team. The cards are good for July."

Rodriguez finished with a stage win and moved up to 4th overall, and thanks to immense work on the final stage, De Plus actually finished the Dauphine 5th in the general classification. "This surprises me," he admits. "I did feel I had a very good day, but that I could attack and ride top five, I did not expect. Who knows maybe later in the year, in the Vuelta for example, I can pursue an individual classification for once."

Before thinking of potential leadership in future Grand Tours however, De Plus as mentioned must first prepare to support the likes of Rodriguez, Egan Bernal and Tom Pidcock at the upcoming Tour de France. "I am now driving by car to Isola for another altitude training camp together with Geraint Thomas," De Plus concludes. "I will stay there for ten days. The week before the Tour I will come back home to rest for a while and then it will be time for the Tour de France."

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