Groenewegen can do little with words Jakobsen: ‘We did not expect that we would drink a beer’

Dylan Groenewegen booked one of the most beautiful victories of his career on Sunday. The 29-year-old Dutchman of Team BikeExhange-Jayco was able to triumph in the third stage of the Tour de France after a difficult time. A day later he is still reminiscing and reacts briefly to the statements of fellow sprinter Fabio Jakobsen.

Groenewegen made his comeback on the road in the Giro d’Italia last year after serving a nine-month suspension (following the Jakobsen incident). In the Italian Grand Tour, the Dutchman was clearly not old enough and after that it took a while before he returned to his old level. He then took his first victories in the Tour de Wallonie and the Tour of Denmark, before finishing the season after a handful of places of honour.

Groenewegen started well in 2022 with two stage wins in the Saudi Tour. Subsequently, there were no real sprint opportunities in several major stage races, but he still managed to triumph in the Tour of Hungary, the Tour of Slovenia and the Veenendaal-Veenendaal Classic. He may not have found the top form he was looking for in it yet, but he nevertheless gained the full confidence of the team to contest the bunch sprints in France. On Saturday, his sprint was not quite finished with eighth place, but on Sunday he struck in the last meters during the third stage.

Groenewegen: ‘Didn’t dare to dream that I could win here’

After his victory it was immediately time to leave Denmark and the entire Tour caravan boarded the plane to France. It ensured that Groenewegen was not at the hotel until about half past eleven and fell asleep at about half past two in the morning. After a short night, he slowly realizes what he has accomplished the day before, he tells the NOS† “My family stopped by today. It’s a bit of a reminisce now, because there wasn’t much time for that yesterday. We did all take the evening meal together, but today the real realization comes a little bit. After a long absence from the Tour, I am now back and I could not have dreamed that I could win.’

Groenewegen booked his stage victory a day after Jakobsen had won the first bunch sprint. An unprecedented opulence for Dutch cycling, but it is not the case for Groenewegen that he can only now draw a line under everything that has happened because of these victories. “I had put it behind me for a while. That to me is the past and I look to the future. In any case, it’s nice that Fabio won the second stage and I won the third. That helps anyway, but I already closed it.’

Groenewegen has respect for the sportsman Jakobsen

Groenewegen then responds to Jakobsen’s statement that Groenewegen’s stage victory had left him cold. ‘I also didn’t expect that we would drink a beer on it. Those are his words and to be honest I can’t do much with them. I have a lot of respect for him as a sportsman, how he fought back and won the second stage. As I said before, we don’t like each other as humans and we don’t have to. We also didn’t get together on the birthday before. That will certainly not happen in the future. I think it’s hard to draw a line under it with just the two of you after everything that’s happened. I don’t have a crystal ball for what that will be like in the future.’

In any case, the near future will be continued with a new and for the time being the last sprint chance on Tuesday. In the fourth stage, however, a difficult stage is on the program, where no fewer than six cols of the fourth category have to be climbed on the way. Usually not in favor of Groenewegen and Jakobsen, especially considering the top of the last climb is eleven kilometers from the finish. However, it will not be really heavy, so that a sprint duel between the two Dutchmen is not excluded. Hopefully from then on we can just talk about the rivalry between the cyclists Groenewegen and Jakobsen, as we envisioned earlier this Monday in our review of the first three days of the Tour de France.