Last season we had to wait until May to see a rider in the yellow and black of LottoNL-Jumbo win a race, but sprinter Dylan Groenewegen ensured the wait was not so long with a victory on stage three of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
The 22-year-old Dutch fast man, in his first season with LottoNL-Jumbo, overcame his lack of teammates in the finishing straight by latching on to Cofidis rider Nacer Bouhanni’s wheel and pipping him to the line.
As the peloton swept through the narrow streets and tight turns of the finishing town Alzira, numbers in the front group were reduced and the peloton stretched out.
Etixx-Quick Step had a strong presence at the front of the pack through Niki Terpstra and Bob Jungels in their almost identical Dutch and Luxembourg national champion’s jerseys.
But it was Cofidis who had the numbers heading into the 180-degree turn that led to the finish line, with three men, including Bouhanni, at the front.
The Frenchman’s leadout was almost perfect, but Groenewegen overpowered him on the line to win by a matter of centimetres.
Team Sky’s Wout Poels remains in the race lead after finishing safely in the peloton, taking a 15-second lead into the race’s final two stages.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage three, Sagunto-Alzira (173.5km)
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 4-04-12
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, st
3. Alexander Porsev (Rus) Katusha, st
4. Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx-Quick Step, st
5. Raymond Kreder (Ned) Roompot Oranje Peloton, st
6. Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling, st
7. Pablo Torres (Esp) Burgos-NH, st
8. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, st
9. Filippo Fortin (Ita) GM Europa Ovini, st
10. Giorgio Bocchiola (Ita) d’Amico-Bottecchia, st
Overall standings after stage three
Overall standings after stage two
1. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, 4-32-42
2. Luis Leon Sanchez (Esp) Astana, at 15s
3. Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana, at 22s
4. Jesus Herrada (Esp) Movistar, at 26s
5. Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx-Quick Step, at 27s
6. Javier Moreno (Esp) Movistar, at 32s
7. Beñat Intxausti (Esp) Team Sky, at 33s
8. Ion Izagirre (Esp) Movistar, at 38s
9. Leopold Koenig (Cze) Team Sky, at 39s
10. Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling, at 45s