Australian Olympic cycling debutant Luke Plapp has confirmed he will join top professional team Ineos Grenadiers.
The team announced that the 20-year-old Victorian will join them as a stagiare from August 1 and ride for them through next season.
Plapp will ride on the track next week in the team pursuit, where Australia is a medal contender.
He is a road time trial specialist who won silver in the event at the 2018 world junior championships behind Belgian star Remco Evenepoel.
Plapp also upset Luke Durbridge to win this year’s national time trial championship.
He will join fellow Tokyo Olympians Richie Porte and Rohan Dennis, plus Cam Wurf, as the Australians on the Ineos Grenadiers roster.
Ineos are one of professional cycling’s top teams, boasting stars such as Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and Tokyo gold medallists Richard Carapaz (road race) and Tom Pidcock (mountain bike).
“It’s the team that everyone dreams of going to, it’s one I especially dreamt of going to, then when everything was signed it felt kinda crazy that it’s all going ahead,” Plapp said in a team statement.
“You look at how ‘G’ (Thomas) went from track to being a Grand Tour winner, and this is what gave me the encouragement to stick at the track seeing how that can then translate into success on the road.”
Thomas and former Ineos team leader Sir Brad Wiggins built their reputations on the track before winning the Tour de France.
“We have a history of developing track riders into world class road racers, like what we have done with Bradley and Geraint,” said Ineos racing director Rod Ellingworth.
“We look forward to Luke coming on board after the Olympics to start his time with the team in preparation for the 2022 season.”
Plapp will debut with the team in late-season European road races after the Olympics.