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The Tour Down Under will not include cycling star Luke Plapp due to a severe crash.
Cycling Sport

The Tour Down Under will not include cycling star Luke Plapp due to a severe crash.

Luke Plapp, a popular Australian cyclist, will not be participating in the Tour Down Under due to his inability to fully recover from injuries sustained in a serious accident the day prior.

The Australian road champion, who has won three consecutive times, sustained significant road injuries from his left shoulder to his hip after crashing during the third stage.

Plapp had initially intended to continue competing, but his team, Jayco AlUla, declared on Friday morning that he will not participate in the 136.2km stage from Murray Bridge to Port Elliot.

“Unfortunately, Plapp will not be able to participate in the fourth stage of the Tour Down Under today as he continues to experience discomfort and ongoing pain from multiple wounds. After monitoring him overnight, the team has made this decision.”

Riders in a pile on the road after crashing

Unfortunately, this marks a difficult turn of events for the renowned Australian cyclist. Earlier this year, he achieved victory for the third consecutive time in the national road race and also reclaimed the time trial championship at the national level.

During the Tour’s pre-race media conference on Monday, Plapp stated that the team’s goal was to win all the stages and the overall title, a feat that has never been achieved in the history of the race.

However, despite Jayco AlUla’s dominance in the national competitions with five out of six elite race wins, they were unable to secure a stage win in the women’s race and have yet to win a stage in the men’s race as well.

Unfortunately, French cyclist Rudy Molard was also hurt in the accident on stage three and will not be able to continue racing due to a concussion, as confirmed by the Groupama – FDJ team doctor.

“Rudy was our man for the general classification, and we will have to reorganize ourselves on that point,” said the team’s sports director, Jussi Veikkanen, on the team’s website. “I hope he is ok and that he has a fast recovery.”

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Unfortunately, Plapp’s injury results in the loss of a crucial leadout rider for Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan on Friday’s final sprint stage of the Tour.

Prior to the Tour, Ewan was sick and has not displayed his usual energy in the sprint finishes during the initial three days.

The weekend marks the end of the race, with the final two stages concluding at Willunga and Mount Lofty with summit finishes.

Source: theguardian.com