Dylan Groenewegen's 2021 schedule has been announced following the Dutch sprinter's nine-month suspension for his involvement in the Fabio Jakobsen crash at the Tour of Poland.
The Jumbo-Visma man deviated from his line in the sprint finish, with the UCI subsequently banning the 27-year-old for nine months, as Jakobsen suffered serious injuries and faced a five-month recovery.
Now, Groenewegen will be quietly re-introduced at a series of smaller races, as the four-time Tour de France stage winner says he "hopes to find his place in the peloton again".
As well as being accepted back into the bunch, Groenewegen says he will need to reacquaint himself with race rhythm as well as contesting sprints again.
"We talked about that well. A lot has happened and we will take that into account when I return," he said.
"Of course I hope to be able to sprint for victories again, but the most important thing is that I can find my place in the peloton again. It doesn't feel good that I deviated from my line. I also wonder how this was possible.
"I certainly blame myself for that. You try to reconstruct what you have thought in full sprint. You can look at it so often, it is always very shocking to see. The impact of the fall is enormous, especially due to the high speed of more than eighty kilometers per hour. It happened unconsciously and I feel very sorry about that."
First up for Groenewegen will be the Tour of Hungary on May 12-16, shortly followed by the Tour of Norway (19-24 May). Then in June, he will race Rund um Köln and the ZLM Tour before the Dutch national road race championships. From there, it will be the Tour of Wallonia, Tour of Denmark, and the EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg.
September should see Groenewegen's most high-profile race of the year at the BinckBank Tour, before he closes out his season with Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen, Sparkassen Münsterland Giro and the Tour of Guangxi.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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