On the occasion of the first stage of the Tour de Wallonie on Tuesday, Dylan Groenewegen returned to victory, more than a year and a half after his last success. In the meantime, the Dutchman from Jumbo-Visma had been suspended for 9 months by the UCI for having caused the serious fall of Fabio Jakobsen last August, during the Tour of Poland.
Certainly, Dylan Groenewegen had more prestigious victories. But the one obtained this Tuesday, in the sprint at the end of the first stage of the Tour de Wallonie, necessarily has a special flavor for the Dutch sprinter of the Jumbo-Visma. Suspended at the start of the year, Groenewegen returned to competition in early May, during the Tour of Italy.
“It’s a great relief that it works. I already felt good during my last outings during the Tour of Belgium (last June, editor’s note), but it didn’t work. This success is more than a victory for me, commented Groenewegen, moved. It was a very difficult time for me where cycling was no longer my primary interest. A lot has happened. “
Jakobsen present on the race
As a reminder, Dylan Groenewegen had caused a violent fall during the first stage of the Tour of Poland last August, for his post-Covid recovery. First on the line, the Dutchman had especially sent his compatriot Fabio Jakobsen in the barriers. Plunged into an artificial coma in hospital, the Deceuninck Quick-Step runner took many months to regain his physical integrity. Jakobsen returned to competition last April for the Tour of Turkey.
A few weeks after the incident, Dylan Groenewegen was suspended for 9 months by the International Cycling Union (UCI). Never had a sprinter been given such a sideline for a racing incident. A symbolic sanction. “Of course, a lot of things happened with the accident, but also in my private life, entrusted for the site of his team the one who became a father for the first time last January. It’s very pleasant to regain victory. The team has been completely behind me lately and I am very grateful to them. It has helped me a lot. “
Dylan Groenewegen won on Tuesday ahead of Frenchman Hugo Hofstetter and Gianni Vermeersch. Present on the race, Fabio Jakobsen finished in 21st position. The 28-year-old sprinter had not raised his arms since February 26, 2020 and a stage of the UAE Tour. This Wednesday, the riders have an appointment for a 120 km stage on the Zolder circuit, which hosts the event after the impossibility to organize the initial stage due to the floods that have occurred in Belgium in recent days.