Team Jayco AlUla sprint star Dylan Groenewegen delivered on stage five of the UAE Tour today, taking the victory in what was a fiercely competitive sprint field. The win makes it his second victory and first WorldTour win of the 2023 season following on from his success at the recent Saudi Tour.
After being unable to find a gap in the final metres of yesterday’s stage, where he had to settle for fifth place, today Groenewegen timed his sprint to perfection, describing it as a ‘textbook’ lead-out. The 29-year-old won the stage sprint after biding his time before launching down the left hand side of the wide finishing straight, giving Team Jayco AlUla men’s squad their third victory and second WorldTour win of the year.
With the absence of threatening wind during the 170km pan-flat stage, the peloton remained mostly together with no huge splits or echelons occurring. This allowed for the full Team Jayco AlUla sprint train to execute their plan and throw Groenewegen onto the top step after five intense days of racing in the UAE.
Tomorrow the riders will face another flat stage, 166km in length which will provide the team with another great opportunity to challenge for a second sprint stage victory.
Dylan Groenewegen – Stage Winner
“It was a hard one, it was really difficult to have good timing in the final and during the stage there was a little bit of wind, but not enough to split the peloton.
In the final, there were roundabouts and crosswinds, I was a little bit too far back then my teammates and I found each other, and I said ‘we need to move to the right into the wind and make some space for each other.’ Elmar Reinders did a really great job to make some space and with three kilometres to go we went to the middle and started the lead-out.
It was a really good, we knew the last roundabout and the guys put me in a really good position and it’s a really good victory for us. I saw Sam Bennet had a small gap, so I went in the slipstream and in that moment I was thinking now I start my sprint. It was a really long one but enough.
It’s really important [the win], we had a really good start in the Saudi Tour, it’s nice if you can win in every race, so it’s a good beginning of the season for me.”
UAE Tour – Stage 5 results:
- Dylan Groenewegen 3:57:07
- Fernando Gaviria ST
- Sam Bennett ST
Photo: Sprint Cycling