‘I had a difficult start to the Tour’: Comeback for Dylan Groenewegen at Tour de France 2019 with 74km/h sprint

The Dutch sprinter had struggled in the opening week, but finally found his place

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

Dylan Groenewegen admitted he struggled in the opening week of the Tour but found glory on stage seven.

The Dutch powerhouse faced tight competition from Lotto-Soudal’s Caleb Ewan who gained quickly on the short uphill run that closed out the stage in Chalon-sur-Saône, but Groenewegen carried off the win.

After heartbreak on the opening stage, as Groenewegen crashed in the final and his team-mate took the yellow jersey, the Jumbo-Visma sprinter put those struggles behind him.

>>> Five talking points from stage seven of the Tour de France 2019

“I had a difficult start to the Tour, but yesterday I felt good again. Today the team really charged for me and it was great.

“The first day was not at all what I expected and we worked very hard to get to this moment. I’m really happy with the team. After the last sprint stage they said they believed in me. They worked really hard for me.”

The 26-year-old had only one top-five finish so far in the Tour de France 2019, before he powered his way forward along in the closing metres of stage seven, launching his monstrous 74km/h sprint 350 metres from the line.

Ewan threatened to steal victory and forced a photo finish, but it was Groenewegen who rode through victorious.

Groenewegen added: “It’s always very close with Caleb as he’s a very good sprinter - I like to sprint against him – but this time I won.

“I started my sprint with 350m to go. I saw that Ewan had gone but fortunately it was enough.”

>>> Eight of the best photos from stage seven of the Tour de France 2019

Groenewegen has shown it takes time for his legs to start firing, but when they do he is almost unbeatable.

At least year’s Tour, he took his first victory also on stage seven, but followed it up with another win on stage eight.

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.