Dylan Groenewegen is poised to make his Tour de France comeback with new employers BikeExchange Jayco, after receiving the green light from the squad to once again compete for stage wins in six months' time at the French Grand Tour.
The winner of four stages from 2017 to 2019, the 28-year-old missed out on selection in 2020 as Jumbo-Visma looked to utilise a three-pronged GC strategy with Primož Roglič, Tom Dumoulin and Steven Kruijswijk in search of the yellow jersey, with Groenewegen subsequently left at home.
The Dutchman would next race in Poland in August 2020, where the crash with Fabio Jakobsen caused him to be suspended for nine months, ending his season and the rider only coming back to racing in May 2021 at the Giro d'Italia.
Groenewegen returned to winning ways at the Tour de Wallonie and Tour of Denmark before leaving Jumbo-Visma this off-season, who he had raced for since 2016, to join Australian outfit BikeExchange Jayco.
His new team boasts less top-tier talent than his old employers (including Wout van Aert who won the Champs-Élysées stage last year after also taking the Mont Ventoux stage and a time trial) making the fight for selection for the Tour much more achievable.
Moreover, Groenewegen has already been told he will lead the line for his new squad with the aim to pick up stage wins at the biggest bike race in the world.
“I love the Tour and am very happy that I can return to this race again this year,” he told Wielerflits. “I have had my best successes in the Tour. As a sprinter, you want to perform on that big stage. My biggest challenge is to fight for the stage wins there again.”
As for his switch from one of the leading teams in the peloton to one that recorded fewer than 10 wins last season, Groenewegen has no regrets and is looking forward to receiving more backing as one of the top talents within the ranks.
“I am happy with the choice I made. They will do everything they can to support me in the bunch sprints and they are already fully engaged in that," he said.
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