Groenewegen wins Stage 6 field sprint at Tour de France!

2024. július 4., csütörtök

Team versenyzők

Dutch national champion Dylan Groenewegen of Team Jayco AlUla won Stage 6 of the Tour de France in a photo finish

Piloting his new custom-painted Propel Advanced SL with a CADEX 50 Ultra WheelSystem and CADEX Aero Integrated Handlebar, Groenewegen won the Stage 6 field sprint in Dijon, proving that every bit of aerodynamic advantage matters by taking a razor-thin victory at the front of a frenetic field sprint.

Sporting a special white Pursuit helmet with red and blue accents, the Team Jayco AlUla rider took the sprint ahead of Belgian Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck), the winner of the 2023 Tour’s points classification. However Philipsen was later relegated to the back of the bunch by the race jury for a dangerous maneuver inside the final 100 meters. That officiating decision saw Eritrean Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Wanty) move into second on the stage, with Fernando Gaviria (Movistar) bumped up to third.

“I’m really happy, this feeling is so amazing,” Groenewegen said immediately following his victory. “And in the red, white, and blue [Dutch champion’s] jersey. Before, I said it would be a beautiful picture, but it was that close that I couldn’t celebrate on the finish line. In the end, we grabbed it. The team worked so hard.”

The flat 163.5km stage from Mâcon to Dijon was marked by scattered showers and relentless crosswinds across the Burgundy region that split the peloton, hindered any significant breakaways, and, with 75km remaining, briefly isolated race leader Tadej Pogačar (UAE Emirates) from his teammates.

Norwegian team Uno-X Mobility took control of the peloton in the closing kilometers along the left side of the road, looking to set up veteran sprinter Alexander Kristoff, but they were passed by Alpecin-Deceuninck along the right side in the final 500 meters, with world champion Mathieu van der Poel leading out Philipsen.

Groenewegen, 31, freelanced his way through the bunch, surfing wheels and fighting for position until he came around Philipsen and launched his sprint down the left side of the road, fully extending his Propel Advanced SL across the line and winning by just millimeters ahead of Philipsen.

After a few tense seconds while race officials reviewed the footage, Groenewegen was declared the winner, which was promptly celebrated with congratulatory hugs from Team Jayco AlUla teammates Luka Mezgec, Luke Durbridge, Michael Matthews, and Christopher Juul-Jensen.

“In the final kilometers we stayed calm, and at the right moment then we go between the slipstreams,” Groenewegen said. “It slowed down, just a little bit, and it was Uno-X and Alpecin, fighting for position, and then I go. It was Philipsen on the right, we were sprinting next to each other. I love these sprints next to each other, and I beat him just on the finish line.”

It was Groenewegen’s sixth career stage win at the Tour de France, and his first since July 3, 2022, in the Danish city of Sønderborg. It was his fifth victory of 2024, a season that has included sprint wins at Ronde van Limburg, the Tour of Slovenia, and the Dutch national championship. It was also his first Tour stage win in the Dutch champion’s jersey.

According to NTT Data, Groenewegen's top speed in the sprint was 71.0 km/h (44.1 mph), which he reached at 170 meters from the finish line.

With the victory, Groenewegen moved into seventh place in the points classification. And while he aims to win additional sprints at this year’s Tour, he acknowledges that it’s easier said than done.

“A victory in the first week means a lot for me, but also for my team,” he said. “The sprint field is really strong, also all the lead-out teams are really strong, but I’m so proud how we did today. Hopefully we can do it again.”

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