Dylan delivers: Groenewegen takes first victory of 2023 on stage one of the Saudi Tour

Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen stormed to his first victory of the season with an emphatic and powerful sprint on the opening stage of the Saudi Tour.
The 29-year-old finished off a perfect lead out from teammates Luka Mezgec and Zdeněk Štybar after battling back from three punctures earlier in the 180km stage.
Windy conditions and rough roads made for a tough day of racing, but Team Jayco AlUla controlled the peloton throughout. As the finale approached the experience of Štybar and Mezgec proved vital as they timed their run to the front perfectly, avoiding the crashes and carnage behind them.
Mezgec then peeled off in the sight of the line, launching Groenewegen who had time to sit up and savour the moment as he crossed the line for his first win of 2023, adding to his two victories in Saudi Arabia last year.
Dylan Groenewegen:
“It was really hectic, we did a lot of work, only DSM was working with us and the breakaway was really strong. I had a flat tyre at the wrong moment and with 20km it was still two minutes, but all the team was working really good and we are really motivated to show AlUla that we are really strong.
In the end we only had three guys left for the final, but we waited for a good moment and then we went and I saw nobody. The team performance was really strong today and we’re really happy to take this first victory of the season with the sprint train.
We know that the shape is really good with everyone, but in a race it’s always different. This is a really important race for us, with AlUla on the jersey, so we’ve made our sponsor proud and to win the first stage is a good beginning.”

2023 Saudi Tour Stage 1 – Results:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jayco AlUla) 4:08:09
2. Dusan Rajovic ST
3. Max Walscheid ST

Photo: Sprint Cycling