24 Jan 2022

Powerful performance from Plouffe

Maeve Plouffe dreamt of winning a stage in South Australia since riding in the popular community event fun ride years ago.

Now South Australian-based Plouffe’s wish came true, winning the Westpac Stage 2 from Penny’s Hill Wines at McLaren Vale in style at Echunga, 85.7km later.

The 2020 Tokyo Games track Olympian was ecstatic with her first big stage win of the national road series, aiming to have a long career on the road.

“I have been watching the Santos Tour Down Under since I was really young,’’ Plouffe said.

 “My family took me out to the BUPA Challenge where you rode a lap of the course, and to come out and win a stage, I have been dreaming of this for years.

“I rode my first NRS tour when I was 18, I think I was the youngest person in it and to finally win it after so many years I was so excited.

“This was certainly more painful because I am a bit more rehearsed on the track.

“I definitely feel more satisfaction from this because road (cycling) was something I really wanted to hit for such a long time.

“With the Commonwealth Games and worlds (track titles in 2022) I will focus on the track, and I’ll focus on the road after the next Olympics (in 2024).

Plouffe, 22, has had an incredible Santos Festival of Cycling, claiming the Adelaide Track League omnium at the SuperDrome on Friday before today’s success.

Riding for ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast, Plouffe is just eight seconds behind general classification leader Ruby Roseman-Gannon.

Roseman-Gannon made all the right moves throughout the day with her BikeExchange-Jayco team to keep the leader’s jersey.

She is favourite to win the tour outright when the women’s Be Safe Be Seen stage 3 pedals off from Lobethal and ends in the same town on Tuesday.   

“I think we had to watch out for the dangerous moves and my teammates covered the last 10km as other teams put it up to us to send riders up the road,’’ Roseman-Gannon said.

“I’m here to win races, I want to go for the win and with that comes the (GC) jersey.

“I want to continue racing well, we’re going to control the race as much as we can and finish it off well.”

Roseman-Gannon was protected by her BikeExchange-Jayco teammates as soon as the start gun fired on Monday.

However, Plouffe and Roseman-Gannon needed a photo finish to determine who took out the first intermediate Ziptrak sprint of the day.

It was tight as Roseman-Gannon added more bonuses to her overall GC lead winning three from three sprints until that point.

Plouffe claimed the second intermediate sprint with Roseman-Gannon adding more valuable bonuses with a second place.

A 2.8km section of dirt and gravel on Harvey Road, Kuitpo towards the Queen of the Mountain at Prospect Hill just past the halfway mark made racing very interesting.

The peloton split on the undulating surface as Roseman-Gannon kept pace with new national road champion Nicole Frain from Roxsolt Liv Sram and Garmin’s Grace Brown who were obvious threats to her leader’s jersey.

But it was VA Pro Racing’s Ruth Corset, using her unique climbing ability to claim the Queen of the Mountain Flagtree Climb.

She now wears the QOM jersey after Knights of Suburbia’s Georgie Howe won the QOM on Sunday.

WESTPAC RIDE OF THE DAY

RESULTS

WESTPAC STAGE  2; PENNY’S HILL WINES, MCLAREN VALE – ECHUNGA 85.7km

STAGE WINNER

Maeve Plouffe – ARA Pro Racing Sunshine Coast

SANTOS LEADER’S JERSEY

Ruby Roseman-Gannon – BikeExchange-Jayco

ZIPTRAK SPRINT JERSEY

Ruby Roseman-Gannon – BikeExchange-Jayco

SHIMANO QUEEN OF THE MOUNTAIN JERSEY

Ruth Corset -VA Pro Racing

CERVELO YOUNG RIDER’S JERSEY

Emily Watts – Knights of Suburbia

WILSON PARKING WINNING TEAM

Roxsolt Liv Sram

SEE ALL RESULTS

 

The Santos Tour Down Under is part of the UCI World Tour and UCI Women's ProSeries 

UCI World TourUCI Women's Pro Series

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