It was an emotional win for the 29-year-old Dutchman, who joined Team BikeExchange-Jayco at the beginning of this year and was racing on his new Giant Propel Advanced SL aero road bike with a CADEX WheelSystem. This was Groenewegen’s fifth career Tour de France stage win and first since 2019.
“It’s been a big comeback for Dylan,” said Team BikeExchange-Jayco head sports director Matt White. “It’s never easy changing teams and he’s worked very, very hard this year and we’ve got a really strong, committed group around him. You saw from the result today how committed they were. They gave him every opportunity to win and he finished it off very, very well.”
After the race, Groenewegen credited the people around him for helping to get him back to the top step of the podium at the Tour. “I have to say thanks to my team, and to my family and friends to bring me back to the Tour in good shape,” he said.
The 182km Stage 3 from Vejle to Sønderborg was expected to be a sprinters’ showdown and that’s exactly how it played out. Early in the race, Danish rider Magnus Cort went out on a solo breakaway, putting on a show for the throngs of home fans as he took all of the day’s KOM points to extend his time in the polka dot jersey.
Following the day’s final KOM climb with 53km to go, it was time for the sprinters’ teams to take control. Cort was soon caught, and Team BikeExchange-Jayco stayed at the front, battling for position to set up Groenewegen for the finale. The Dutch rider had been disappointed in his finish on the previous day’s Stage 2, which also ended in a bunch sprint, and the team was determined to come back strong.
“Yesterday didn’t go as we wanted it to, but you’ve got to move on quickly,” said White. “That’s the secret of achieving anything in life and sport. The boys didn’t flinch at all after yesterday and they gave 100 percent commitment to Dylan.”
Groenewegen had to navigate a hectic final 10km, then make a perfect move to edge out some of the world’s fastest sprinters including Wout van Aert, Jasper Philipsen and Peter Sagan, who finished second through fourth respectively.
“Yesterday I was a little bit angry at myself,” said Groenewegen, who wore the Giant Pursuit helmet to take the win. “Today, we were a long time boxed in, and I was also involved with a crash a bit with nine kilometers to go. But [the team] brought me back into position, we stayed calm. In the end, I was on the right side, Amund [Grøndahl Jansen] brought me into a really good position on the left corner, I struggled a little bit in the left corner, but at the finish line it was enough and I still can’t believe it.”
Looking ahead, the riders have a day off for travel on Monday as they leave Denmark and head to France. The three-week race picks back up on Tuesday with Stage 4, a hilly, classics-style 172km route from Dunkerque to Calais.