Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to third in the Volta ao Algarve’s fourth stage behind winner Andre Greipel. LottoNL-Jumbo team-mate Primoz Roglic finished 18th in the group and kept the overall lead in Tavira, Portugal.
"I have enough power and my speed is good, it sucks that it just does not work out," said Groenewegen, who was just a few centimetres short of the win.
"In the last corner, I was too excited to try to get by Greipel. I should not do that, it failed and I lost some speed. I started the sprint a few bike lengths behind the German. I still was close, which indicates that I'm fine."
Groenewegen understood that the sprint was not the main focus today given Roglic had the leader’s jersey.
"To retain the leader’s jersey for Primoz was more important. We controlled the pack and so you miss those guys in the sprint. At such a time, you have to deal with it differently. If our lead-out man Robert Wagner is run flat then it gets harder in the final."
‘Difficult task today’
Sports Director Frans Maassen’s main goal was to keep the leader’s jersey on his rider’s shoulders. He still wanted Groenewegen to have his way in the sprint.
“Our plan was to pay attention to which riders escaped and control the race. Doing so, you already put men on the front who you are going to miss in the final.
“Halfway through the race, the sprint teams began to deal with the breakaway. We didn’t participate in that phase. It’s too bad that Wagner ran flat, maybe he could have made the difference in Dylan falling a few centimetres at the line."
Roglic keeps the lead
"The main goal was to retain the jersey, we succeeded." Roglic said.
The Slovenian remains the leader with 22 seconds on Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky).
"The team controlled the race and after 120 kilometres, the race really began,” Roglic said. “It was not an easy task, but we succeeded. Tomorrow, we should do the same and keep the jersey."