“Last year I wasn’t given the chance to be a leader enough" - Luke Plapp honest about INEOS Grenadiers departure

After three seasons with the INEOS Grenadiers, Australian National Champion, Luke Plapp has returned home somewhat for 2024 with a move to the Aussie-based Team Jayco AlUla.

“Last year I wasn’t given the chance to be a leader enough, and I need to know if that’s something I want to be doing or if that’s something I can suit,” Plapp says honestly about his INEOS Grenadiers departure, in conversation with GCN. “So I think that’s the opportunities I’ll have this year.”

In Plapp's first races with his new team, the 23-year-old was mostly used in the service of Simon Yates and Caleb Ewan. “I think I just need some more races to have that opportunity, and also I think I need to have a chance of being a leader, to find out whether that’s where I can fit as well,” he continues. “I should do Paris-Nice first up in Europe, and then do Milano-Sanremo as well, both of those races will be in support, and then towards the Giro."

What can we expect from Plapp in what would be the second Grand Tour of his career? "It’s still a long way to the Giro. I think everyone thinks it’s the first tour and it comes up quite quickly, but for me, I have gone quite hard for the Tour Down Under, I do need a reset, rebuild again," he explains. "I think we’ll just take our time, once we get back to Europe and settle in again. I love being in Australia so much, so it does take me a while to just settle back into Europe, but I can’t wait.”

“Physically I think I’m in very similar shape to what I always have been, but mentally I’m just so refreshed,” he concludes. “I’m so happy. I’m just really, really in a good mental state, I had an amazing off-season and pre-season, so I’m just really happy to be part of this team if I’m honest. I wake up each morning and head to each race with a smile and a lot of confidence.”

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