The 24-year-old opted to make his decisive attack after the Boulders climb when he realised his team was well represented in the breakaway.
“We had a fast start and heading towards Boulders our team had Myles van Musschenbroek and James Fourie in the breakaway. That was almost a perfect scenario for our team,” Du Plooy told In the Bunch today.
“We were able to save energy that way and wait for the other teams to put in the attacks.”
Heading up Boulders OfficeGuru and NAD Pro set a “really high pace”, Du Plooy said, and he had to “dig deep” to keep up with them.
“Down the descent I stuck with them and then out the Boulders gates I took a flyer and went for it. I knew that was my moment to go while I felt good.”
That attack served as his trump card for the stage as he solo-led for almost the whole second half of the race.
“I knew the last 15km was really hard with some steep climbs, so I knew I had to go in solo there to have any chance of taking the victory.”
He said the Boulders climb could either “make or break you”, adding that the riders had to contend with a total of 3 500m ascent throughout the stage.
“It was really challenging and I didn’t expect the day to play out like it did today. I’m very fortunate to get my first win in ProTouch colours.”
Du Plooy said the team was “ready for anything” ahead of stage six tomorrow, with reigning champ NAD Pro’s Matt Beers still holding the race lead.