Bruised and bloodied reigning Australian road race champion Luke Plapp has been forced out of the Tour Down Under due to injuries suffered in a heavy crash on Thursday’s third stage.
Plapp had his jersey ripped, his exposed back and shoulders covered with severe road rash and swollen elbows and ankles after he went down amid a fast descent near the end of the stage.
On Friday morning his team Jayco-AlUla, having monitored him overnight announced he would not start the fourth stage of the race because of “discomfort and ongoing pain from a large amount of wounds”.
The injuries were the result of a major crash involving a few riders about 10km from the finish line.
Plapp, who has won the last three national road titles was considered by many to be a red-hot contender for the overall winner’s jersey, crashed as riders hit speeds close to 100km/h in the descent.
He did finish the stage and wasn’t taken to hospital but was instead treated by his team’s medical staff.
But the result left Plapp more then 10 minutes behind the leader, and his injuries left him unable to continue in the race.
The crash that caused Luke P;app’s withdrawal. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
Plapp’s injuries continued a frustrating Tour for Australia’s only WorldTour team without a stage win in the men’s of women’s races in Adelaide.
His teammate Caleb Ewan, who was pipped at the finsh of stage three, said her head the crash.
“I heard a crash and I heard something (on the radio) about Plappy so I just assumed that he went down,” he said after the finish.
“I’m unsure if he is right or not.”
UAE Emirates young gun Isaac del Toro retains the lead going into stage four.