Giant Australia Off-Road Team rider Paul van der Ploeg took on the Redback 2019 last weekend in the Northern Territory. It was Paul's first time at the event that takes place on the singletrack surrounding the town of Alice Springs. The 4 day event had 6 stages in total which kicked off with a shorter Cross Country stage through local singletrack, followed by an Individual Time Trial hillclimb event, a 22km night race and longer Cross Country stages to finish off the event on day 3 and 4.
It saw a great return of form for the Melbourne rider who earlier this year badly broke his leg at an enduro format race in New Zealand. After winning 5 out of the 6 stages of the Redback Paul had this to say about the race.“It was so much fun out there today. I just wanted to stay upright. The legs were a bit sore this morning so I just wanted to power on and finish with a stage win. Stages 5 and 6 are definitely the highlights for sure. I loved the Stage 3 time trial as well but the finish today was so smooth and free flowing. It was awesome to tick this race off and get a win. The doctor said I’d be off the bike for a long time after my crash but here we are eight months later. I couldn’t be happier."
Paul will now turn his focus to preparing for Cape to Cape a bit later in the year, he'll be pairing up with his brother Neil. They'll be looking to improve on their 3rd place overall at the recent Reef to Reef MTB race in Cairns.
For full results and for more information on The Redback MTB Stage Race head to theredback.com.au.