THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 2022
Dutch sprinter Dylan Groenewegen kicked off his 2022 season in spectacular form, making a splash with his new Team BikeExchange-Jayco squad by winning the third stage of the Saudi Tour stage race.
Groenewegen, a new recruit to team this year, finished off a strong team effort when he powered past sprint rivals Daniel McLay and Caleb Ewan on his Propel Advanced SL Disc team bike with a CADEX WheelSystem. The 28-year-old also wore the Giant Pursuit helmet to give himself an aero advantage in the sprint. Giant partnered with Team BikeExchange-Jayco at the start of this year, and Groenewegen showed that he's already feeling right at home with his new bike and gear.
“It’s really amazing to win in my first race,” Groenwegen said afterward. “We made a really good plan, and the tactic was amazing. Everybody did a really good job. It’s only the second sprint for me this year, but it feels like we are already working together for two years.”
Stage 3 of the five-day Saudi Tour, which is part of the UCI Asia Tour, finished in AIUIa Old Town, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Racers faced gusty winds, which splintered the race into echelons early in the 181km stage. An early split saw just 27 riders remain in the front group, with Groenewegen and his teammate Luka Mezgec among them. Ultimately, that group was caught, setting up a dash to the finish with a group of about 50.
“It was a really crazy stage,” Groenewegen said. “Luka Mezgec was there [with me], but then with the headwind everything came back. That was good for us to have everyone there in the final.”
The 2022 Saudi Tour continues with Stage 4, and will conclude Saturday with the final Stage 5.