Team Jayco AlUla sprinter Dylan Groenewegen came agonisingly close to victory today at the one-day Belgian race Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen, fighting head-to-head all the way to the line with Jasper Phillipsen, who just edged out the 30-year-old to deny him the win.
After stellar teamwork throughout the 165.1km race, Slovenian lead-out man Luka Mezgec moved Groenewegen into position down the final finishing straight, with Groenewegen launching his sprint a second too late, as Philipsen moved first and managed to snatch the win after a very close photo finish on the line.
The day played out with four riders heading away early to establish the day’s break, but they were kept on a tight leash before being reeled back in on the penultimate lap. The narrow and twisty roads on the circuit made things hard to keep good positioning, however Groenewegen’s well oiled sprint train managed to line him up in the finale, to deliver the Team Jayco AlUla sprinter into the right position to challenge for a sixth podium finish in the event.
Dylan Groenewegen – 2nd place
“It was an honest sprint, but Philipsen was just the first rider at the finish line. Philipsen is almost unbeatable this year, it really falls in the right director for him. We arrived just a little too late so we have to look now at what we can improve. There are three options, you go to late, too soon or just at the right moment and Philipsen went at the right moment.
I hoped that I had won, it was close and a photo finish but it’s second for me. After the Tour de France where I was beaten and last week where I had a mechanical problem in the final kilometers, my legs were good today, it was a goal, but I was just starting the sprint a second too late. I have won six races this season, and it is always hard to lose especially if you know you have the legs to do it. Today with a little bit more it would have been possible for me. These second places really motivate me to keep trying to get a win, we still have enough races left in Belgium this year.”
2023 Kampioenschap van Vlaanderen results:
- Jasper Philipsen 3:34:28
- Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jayco AlUla) ST
- Fabio Jakobsen ST