Sprinters Dylan Groenewegen and Fabio Jakobsen ready for revenge and redemption at the 2022 Tour de France

Sprinters Dylan Groenewegen and Fabio Jakobsen ready for revenge and redemption at the 2022 Tour de France

Dutch bicycle owner Dylan Groenewegen was virtually and figuratively a broken male subsequent a crash nearly two many years in the past which had dire repercussions for him and Tour de France rival Fabio Jakobsen.

It was August 2020 at the Tour of Poland, and the pair have been using from each individual other, aspect by aspect in a high-speed end, eyeing victory, when Groenewegen squeezed Jakobsen into the barriers.

There had been no winners that day.

Road cycle racers crash during a race
In August of 2020, Groenenwegen and Jakobsen suffered horror injuries after a crash in Poland.(Getty Pictures: Luc Claessen)

Jakobsen was put into an induced coma immediately after crashing by way of the barrier, suffering horrific facial injuries that needed many surgeries.

Groenewegen broke his collarbone, was suspended from competitiveness for nine months for deviating from his line and demanded law enforcement safety right after receiving death threats.

That the two gentlemen later on returned to the winner’s circle is a correct testomony to their resolve.

For the first time because the sad tale, Groenewegen will return to the Tour de France, which starts tonight, all set to encounter off against race debutant Jakobsen (Speedy-Move Alpha Vinyl) and other billed sprinters which include Australian Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal).

The 4-time Tour stage winner headlines the Australian-registered BikeExchange-Jayco group, which he joined at the beginning of this period in what was a refreshing start out next a very long tenure at Dutch squad Jumbo-Visma.

A cycling team is unveiled before a race
Groenewegen will be a part of Australians Luke Durbridge, Michael Matthews, Alexander Edmondson and Nicholas Schultz as part of Crew BikeExchange-Jayco at this year’s Tour.(Getty Images: Stuart Franklin)

BikeExchange-Jayco sporting activities director Matt White recognised the ridicule Groenewegen endured for his involvement in the crash, which fiercely divided community view and the peloton, but extra that the demons from it have been exorcised as the 29-year-aged aims to make the most of constrained opportunities for sprinters at this year’s Tour.

“He’s clearly moved on. I imagine he is gained [several] races given that,” White instructed ABC.

“But it truly is a thing no a person desires to come about. II’s something that, you know, anyone would be lying to say you forget about factors that come about like that in your vocation.

White contrasted Groenewegen’s past situation with an incident at the Criterium du Dauphine in June where by Sebastian Molano and Hugo Page ended up included in a heated altercation next some dicey race moves.

“Molano from UAE [Team Emirates] punched a bloke two times two weeks back and failed to even get suspended,” he continued.

“So, it is really hypocritical. The suspension that was handed out to Dylan as opposed to a good that was handed out to a guy who bodily punched a bloke two instances and then went soon after him following the complete line.”

Groenewegen will share team management with Australian Michael Matthews at the Tour. Both of those champions are aiming for stage victories, which is primarily critical to the squad at this time dealing with relegation under a promotion/relegation program released this season.


“It is really some thing we are conscious of, and any of those people groups in the previous 7 spots vying for situation, they’d be lying if they mentioned they are not aware of it,” White reported.

“But we’re concentrated on winning, we are concentrated on the Tour de France. We’ve bought a great deal of races off the back again of the Tour in August and September up until finally the middle of October, where by we have acquired a very good strategy in place.

“[British sprinter] Simon Yates is just not below, which opens [it] up. We have bought our very best bicycle rider who is likely to be accessible to choose up factors in the period of time immediately after the Tour as effectively.

“But our total focus now is on attempting to earn a stage of the Tour de France and be as aggressive as we can right here more than the future 3 months.”

Groenewegen has celebrated four victories this period, winning two phases in his initial race with BikeExchange-Jayco at the Saudi Tour in February.

He speedily produced a rapport with teammate Luka Mezgec, who White explained has been “essential” to his smooth integration into the English-talking squad.

Positioning a sprinter for victory in a tightly packed bunch of riders, racing aggressively and accelerating up to 70kph can be as crucial as speed, and is exactly where Mezgec fits in. Jakobsen’s squad is the benchmark in positioning.

Groenewegen has also altered his preparing, competing in hillier races in the direct-up with the hope of staying much more competitive, specifically thinking about the opportunities for sprinters are stacked in the 1st and the past 7 days, with hilly terrain and mountain passes to survive in involving.

“When he is gained phases in the Tour de France prior to, he’s just performed flat races to put together, so he is gone to a lesser race, experienced a pair of easier wins, and obtained to the Tour and he’s received at the Tour,” White said.

“But everyone who follows the Tour de France, or in particular the way we see it in the vehicle, some of those people mountain stages he has been, in the past, the first person dropped, and it truly is been a true struggle for him to get by.

A road cyclist rides up a mountain with clouds in the background
Groenewegen’s preparing for the 2022 Tour has included a higher emphasis on mountain climbs, which he has struggled with in the past.(Getty Images: Tim de Waele)

“I consider which is going to keep him really great about the three months. We’re assured that his affliction is as very good — if not improved — than it’s at any time been prior to.

“If you happen to be feeling far better at the stop of all those levels, it also gives you the ability to dash faster as perfectly.”

Matthews is aiming to conquer undulating stages and has dominated out competing in addition for the environmentally friendly jersey, which he won in 2017, but believes the initial 7 days of the Tour could lend itself to something arguably higher.

The Tour starts in Copenhagen with a 13.2km time demo followed by two flat levels that windy problems could affect, in advance of the race moves to France on Monday.

There, hilly terrain and cobbles await what will absolutely be a anxious peloton. It offers an option for Matthews to put on the heralded race leader’s yellow jersey for a stint.

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“A large amount of riders will be making an attempt to go for that yellow jersey in the very first 7 days. It is really also a little something we are very fascinated in to attempt and take it,” Matthews mentioned.

In whole, nine Australians will compete at the 109th edition of the Tour, such as Matthews, Luke Durbridge and Nick Schultz at BikeExchange-Jayco and Caleb Ewan at Lotto Soudal, Ben O’Connor — who, with AG2R-Citroen, has ambitions to adhere to in the footsteps of Richie Porte and Cadel Evans and finish on the podium — Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech), Chris Hamilton (Crew DSM), and Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ), who will make his debut.

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