Dylan Groenewegen says he’s happy with fourth place on stage two of the Giro d’Italia 2021, but added he’s “a winner and always wants more.”
The Jumbo-Visma rider returned to the peloton on the second day of racing in Italy, having served a nine-month ban following a crash with Fabio Jakobsen last season.
Groenwegen was well positioned in the sprint finish in Novara, battling with the leaders but eventually finishing in fourth place, as Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) rode to victory.
Speaking after the finish Groenewegen, 27, said: “The feeling after a really long time is okay. If you take fourth place in your first sprint again after nine months, then you need to be happy, but I'm a winner and I always want always more. But fourth place in the first sprint is not bad.”
Groenewegen was handed a nine-month ban by the UCI last year, after he pushed Deceuninck - Quick-Step’s Fabio Jakobsen into the barrier at high speed during the sprint finish on stage one of the 2020 Tour of Poland.
As his ban came to an end the day before the 2021 Giro started in Turin, Groenewegen was drafted in to join Jumbo-Visma last minute when another rider was forced to drop out due to eye problems.
Groenewegen was recently criticised by his compatriot Jakobsen, who said he was disappointed Groenewegen had spoken to the press about a meeting between the two riders that was supposed to remain confidential, adding the sprinter is still yet to personally apologise or take responsibility for his actions, which left Jakobsen in a medically-induced coma.
Last month, Groenewegen revealed to the Dutch press that he and Jakobsen had recently met for the first time since the Tour of Poland crash, which left Jakobsen with multiple, serious injuries and Groenewegen with the nine-month suspension. The aim was for the two riders to come to an understanding of the incident.
On his form after the first road stage of the 2021 Giro, Groenewegen said: “The legs are really perfect, so I'm Iooking forward to the next sprint.
“My team did a really nice job.”
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1