Dylan Groenewegen has left Jumbo-Visma and signed for Bike-Exchange, in a surprising December transfer move.
The Dutch sprinter leaves the team he's been with since 2016 to ensure he's on the start line at the biggest bike races in the world. Jumbo-Visma's roster includes a plethora of GC talent and the all-conquering Wout van Aert, meaning Groenewegen continues to face stiff competition to be at any top-level race, let alone as the squad's protected sprinter since returning from the injury and ban that followed the incident with Fabio Jakobsen at the 2020 Tour of Poland.
"We do not want to hinder the sporting development of Dylan, who helped put the team on the map with, among other things, his sprint victory on the Champs-Élysées," team boss Richard Plugge said.
“We have always had a very good relationship. That is why we decided to cooperate with his departure wish. As unfortunate as I think it is, because Dylan is a great rider and a nice man.”
Groenewegen says he'll miss working with a team of the same nationality but believes the Australian squad is the "right place" for him at this stage in his career.
“Jumbo-Visma is perhaps the best team out there at the moment. I may miss the Dutch people around me and the Dutch mentality, but this opportunity was too good to pass up. I am happy that we came out quickly with both teams in a good and friendly way," Groenewegen said.
“I strongly believe that joining Team BikeExchange is now the right step and environment for me to start winning again. Ever since I started talking to Brent and the coaching staff, I felt this was the right place and it's an incredible opportunity. I look forward to competing with the team for important results."
The 28-year-old has won four stages of the Tour de France so far during his career, as well as three stages of Paris-Nice, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Brugge-de Panne.
Jumbo-Visma's Merijn Zeeman says that as well as Wout van Aert the team will now focus on developing their young sprinting talents Olav Kooij and David Dekker.
“It is with a heavy heart that I see Dylan leave. However, I understand that he sees more sporting opportunities with his new team. That is why I wholeheartedly grant Dylan this transition," said Zeeman.
"We have experienced an unforgettable journey together. Dylan will always hold a special place in my heart and I also want to wish him all the luck and success. With Olav Kooij and David Dekker, among others, we have young sprinters knocking on the door. Now they get other opportunities and that is only good for their development.”
Bike-Exchange team manager, Brent Copeland has described Groenewegen as a "rider of great class who perfectly completes our team for 2022," adding the transfer was completed smoothly. "I would like to thank Jumbo-Visma for making the transfer so easy for all parties. It has been a constructive process."
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