Groenewegen on his unusual Tour preparation and the disqualification of Matthews: "Again proof that the jury isn't consistent" Cycling

Groenewegen on his unusual Tour preparation and the disqualification of Matthews: "Again proof that the jury isn't consistent"

Groenewegen on his unusual Tour preparation and the disqualification of Matthews: "Again proof that the jury isn't consistent"

Dylan Groenewegen finished third in the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, representing Jayco AlUla. The Dutchman had to concede to Belgians Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step) and Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) in Schoten, thus concluding his spring with a fifth podium and one victory. caught up with him afterwards.

"Tim, Jasper, and I were clearly the fastest of the day," he noted after the finish. "A kilometer from the finish, my lead-out had some kind of chain issue. We found each other again 500 meters from the finish. I followed him, of course. He did a good job. But I started my sprint a bit too early and ended up in the wind too soon. Merlier stayed a more bit sheltered and had that extra burst that I lacked, after which Philipsen also quickly passed me."

Groenewegen reflects on the spring season for himself and Team Jayco AlUla

Groenewegen was at peace with the outcome. "You always hope to win, of course. In the end, many good sprinters participate, and winning is tough, but that was the goal, and it didn't happen. On the other hand, after those problems, we managed to solve it well, and I just ended up in the wind a bit too soon. That's just the difference, although Merlier certainly deserved to win. Philipsen did get a bit boxed in, but in the end, he came out very quickly. But that's sprinting; it's all part of the frenzy," said the Amsterdam native.

Groenewegen is now concluding his spring and looks back on the first four months upon request. "The season started very well with a victory (mid-January in Valencia, ed.), but in the AlUla Tour, I was beaten by a few millimeters and then got sick. In the UAE Tour, we made many mistakes, and it just didn't work out, only to be beaten by a few millimeters again in Bredene-Koksijde. If you win all those, it looks different. You're a sprinter, and you want to win, but it is what it is."

The lead-out, with Luka Mezgec and Elmar Reinders, certainly isn't to blame. "They did really well here. We're working on a few details, but we all know the main goal is the Tour de France." That Jayco AlUla - besides Groenewegen, Caleb Ewan, Michael Matthews, and Simon Yates were all sick, Mauro Schmid struggled with knee issues - is slightly down on luck doesn't worry him. "The team vibe is very good. Michael performed well in San Remo and Flanders, but ultimately the jury decides there... that, I think, is again proof that they're not consistent," Groenewegen refers to the Australian being disqualified from the sprint and moved from third to eleventh place in the Tour of Flanders. "It is what it is, and we can speak of a good spring overall, though we could have won a bit more."

Groenewegen had doubts about participating in Paris-Roubaix

Groenewegen was initially uncertain about taking part in Paris-Roubaix. "It's a fantastic race, and I'd love to ride it, but there's also a risk involved in participating. I'll be taking it easy next week, getting some rest and spending time with my family. After that, I'll start building up towards the Tour of Hungary, Veenendaal-Veenendaal, Tour of Limburg, and Tour of Slovenia. But first, I'm heading to Spain on Tuesday for a solid training camp. I'm hoping that will set me up nicely for the Tour."

The sprinter is opting for a slightly different approach to the Tour de France. "I'll be racing a bit less. Last year showed that climbing wasn't an issue, but I also didn't win any sprints, and that's what really matters. Luka, Elmar, and Michael should normally be there, so we have a strong team. We should be able to make it work and hope to increase our tally of victories. I'm no longer on 0, but I'm hoping to add a few more wins."

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