LottoNL-Jumbo sprinter Dylan Groenewegen has slammed his own team mechanics after he lost the Dubai Tour blue leader’s jersey following a penalty from the commissaires.
The Dutchman suffered a mechanical problem with 70km left to race on stage three and was paced back to the peloton by his team car.
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But the judges ruled he had sat in the cars draft for too long and penalised him 20 seconds, obliterating the two second lead he held at the start of the day over Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) and plunging him down to 42nd on general classification.
The Dutchman had no quibble with the judges’ decision to penalise him 20 seconds for drafting his team car but instead directed his fury at his own team.
“I had problems with my bike, the mechanicals f***** it up for me. I actually think it was a good decision by the judges but it f***** it up for me,” he said.
“It’s the fault of my mechanics,” he said. “It was my goal to win the Dubai Tour but now it’s really difficult. Maybe we’ll see on the last day.
He added: “My second bike was f***** too, that’s why I changed it. It was the bottom bracket. It was completely f*****.”
Gorenewegen won the opening stage of the five day race, beating Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) to the line on the stage from Skydive Dubai to Palm Jumeirah, taking the overall lead. Despite eventually making it back to the peloton on Thursday’s stage, he was unable to contest the finish which was won by Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data).
When asked if he realised he had stayed behind the team car longer than was allowed Groenewegen said: “I stayed behind the car because it was really windy and the race was broken into two groups.”
The Dubai Tour continues on Friday with its only summit finish of the race to Hatta Dam, which will likely play a large part in deciding the race’s overall winner.