Dylan Groenewegen crashed in the final of Paris-Nice stage three today in Chalon-sur-Saône. In the last four kilometres, the team LottoNL-Jumbo sprint train took the left side of a roundabout and the Dutch champion fell, blaming himself.
Irishman Sam Bennett (Bora) won and Arnaud Demare (FDJ) kept the overall lead.
"We made an expensive mistake,” Groenewegen said.
“I felt good and we waited until the right moment. We’d done the climbs right and we were in a right position to sprint. Then we make a big mistake by taking the wrong side on the roundabout.
“This should not happen in these kinds of races. In this field of competitors you can not make mistakes."
After two chaotic echelons stages, today was a typical sprinter stage in the French WorldTour race. Shortly after the start in Chablis, three men rode clear of the peloton. They survived most of the 190 kilometres, just until the sprint teams hit full speed.
"We started the sprint train last year and we expect to make another step ahead this year,” added Groenewegen.
“That should happen soon. I’m now disappointed about today’s stage, but we will get another chance on Thursday."
The time trial riders will have their chance tomorrow. Paris-Nice includes a 14.5-kilometre individual stage to Mont Brouilly.