Team LottoNL-Jumbo rider Dylan Groenewegen placed fourth in the third stage of the Eneco Tour today. In the streets of Ardooie, Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) won and with the bonus seconds, moved up to second place overall at the expense of Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo). Rohan Dennis (BMC) remains the overall leader.
Five riders managed to escape after the start in Blankenberg. They nearly survived, only falling into the group’s claws in the final 500 metres. Sagan sprinted around with the others trying to keep up.
"The sprint was very hectic because the leading group was caught in a full sprint,” Groenewegen explained. “We had to sprint between them and it seemed that only Sagan had no problems with that. It sucks that I only managed fourth. We came here to win bunch sprints, and if you fail, you can’t be happy.
“I'm fine and my speed is also good. I think that I was the fastest today, but I had to hold off too much in the sprint."
‘A poker game’
"In the final, it was very exciting because many teams began to play poker,” Sports Director Merijn Zeeman added. “There are many interests in the peloton. Some teams ride only for the sprint and others are thinking of the overall. There was little cooperation in the peloton at the start of the stage today.”
The group succeeded, but just, in catching the five riders. "That was not because the peloton rode well, it was more because the riders in the leading group started to look back. Our goal was to get Dylan through the last corner as well as possible. Groenewegen succeeded, but his team-mates lost ground. In the sprint, he showed again that he is good, but unfortunately, he could not open the throttle."
Jos van Emden dropped one place to third in the overall standings, but maintaining his position was not the goal today.
"We are pleased that we have still three men in the top 10 of the standings,” Zeeman said. “Today, we rode entirely for a bunch sprint. Jos van Emden, too. He made every effort to keep Dylan positioned.“