Sometimes you are lucky, today we are second says the sprinter after taking the runner-up spot on Champs-Élysées
Dylan Groenewegen may not have been able to match Jasper Philipsen’s pace when the Alpecin-Deceuninck rider shot out from behind his wheel on the Champs-Élysées, but second place on the final stage of the 2022 Tour de France was far from enough to drag down the mood at BikeExchange-Jayco.
Groenewegen already had his victory on stage 3 his very first WorldTour level win since being suspended for nine months for causing Fabio Jakobsen’s crash at Tour de Pologne plus Michael Matthews added another victory on stage 14 to break through to the top step at the French Grand Tour for the first time in five years. Gratitude for those two key victories and the progress they represented was a salve to ease the sting of one last chance missed.
The team today was brilliant, I went a bit too early [in the sprint] but there was no other option I think, said Groenewegen. Sometimes you are lucky, today we are second, it’s good, but it’s not good enough, but the team was really strong. I signed seven months ago with the team and now we did one of the best lead-outs. I’m thankful for that, for this big chance, said the rider who switched to BikeExchange Jayco from Jumbo-Visma this season with a late transfer.
The stage 21 result included BikeExchange Jayco netted four-second places as well as two victories. There was one runner-up position for Groenewegen, two for Matthews on stages 6 and 8, plus a close-run second for Nick Schultz on his Tour debut after he lost out in the two-up break sprint in Megève.
When asked why he didn’t seem upset at missing out on a second victory at the Champs-Élysées finale Groenewegen said: It was a great Tour for the team two stage victories, we came for one, he said before also pointing to the solid tally of second places. It was an amazing Tour and the motivation in the team was high and I am very thankful for that.
Before Groenewegen’s stage 3 victory his fifth win at the Tour de France but his first since 2019 the Australian-based squad hadn’t grasped a Tour de France top step since 2019 either. Last year’s high hopes spurred by the re-signing of Matthews ended with a second and third place but not the hoped-for first, the wait for victory perhaps making this year’s results resonate even more strongly.
It was a fantastic Tour and I’ve never seen any team that I’ve been involved with, work so well together, said team owner Gerry Ryan. The bonding from the first day, to now, is pretty special.
Two stage wins and four seconds, we’re going to come back next year and be a lot stronger. It’s a very exciting time ahead.