Groenewegen powers to victory on stage 2 of the Tour of Slovenia

Dylan Groenewegen won the second stage of the Tour of Slovenia thanks to a typically powerful sprint finish, capping off a superb team effort from the Team BikeExchange-Jayco riders.

The 174.1km stage from Ptuj to Rogaška Slatina was far from the straightforward day many riders would have been expecting, as despite the expected bunch sprint finish materialising, it was a lumpy day with some demanding climbing which took its toll on some of Groenewegen’s rivals.

After an early six-rider breakaway was reeled back in with under 40km to go, a select lead group formed as the peloton split under increasing pressure.

Groenewegen and his team-mates made the lead group of around 40 riders, setting the Dutchman up well for an attempt at victory.

There was still plenty of work to be done however, with a few attacks inside the final kilometres going off, but the Team BikeExchange-Jayco riders controlled things well and after a leadout from Campbell Stewart and Luka Mezgec, Groenewegen was able to find some space and opened up his sprint to win by a bike length.

It was Groenewegen’s fifth win of the season in Team BikeExchange-Jayco colours, and the men’s team’s 14th of the season to date.

The riders now face two challenging days of climbing, before another potential sprint opportunity on the fifth and final stage on Sunday.

Dylan Groenewegen
“We timed it really well. Into the final corner I was a bit boxed in, so that was hard, I couldn’t follow Luka in that corner and he had to wait before pulling again, so that was really hard for him, also for Campbell.

It wasn’t perfect, but Luka made a really smart move to make some space for me, and I could follow the other riders and find some space to sprint, and that was enough.

We did a lap before so we saw the finish and knew what was coming. The guys did an amazing job all day, especially when Bahrain started pulling in the climbing zone. It was a really hard stage so thanks to my team-mates for this victory.”

Gene Bates (Sport Director):
“It was particularly good teamwork. We’d earmarked this stage a long time before coming here as one we wanted to target with Dylan, and really it’s the reason we brought Dylan here, for stage 2. So it was nice to see the plan come to fruition and be successful for us.

Now we’ll be stage hunting, but we’ve also got Lucas Hamilton who’s looking good for the GC as well.”

2022 Tour of Slovenia Stage 2 – Result:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 4:12:51
2. Lionel Taminiaux S/T
3. Pascal Ackermann S/T 

Photo courtesy of Bettini Photo