Cycling | 6 maart 2017

Team LottoNL-Jumbo bounces back after off day in Paris-Nice

Dylan Groenewegen placed fourth in the streets of Amilly today behind winner Sonny Colbrelli. Team LottoNL-Jumbo took revenge in the rainy second stage of Paris-Nice. The team rode the whole stage at the front and placed Groenewegen in a good position for the sprint.

"It was a fair race. You can see by the names in the result, which you never see in bunch sprints. After such a hard race, it is about who has the most left," said Groenewegen.

"In the echelons, I was not really cold, but during the last 20 kilometers, it was very heavy. Those conditions are the same for everyone, so that shouldn’t be a excuse.

"It was fairly close, so then you need some luck. Nevertheless, I'm happy with fourth place after such a tough race."

The stage of 195 kilometres started in a rainy Rochefort-en-Yvelines. Shortly after the start, it began to snow and it soon became clear that this was going to be another very tough day. During the first two hours, the peloton covered 100 kilometres and the group was broken up into different echelons. Team LottoNL-Jumbo rode attentively and always had plenty of men in the first group.

"Today we rode as a strong team. Yesterday was not good and we should move on. Today we turned it into positive energy. I feel strong and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. We need to hold this feeling."

Wynants attentive

With only 50 kilometers to go, the first echelons came together and six riders escaped. Maarten Wynants was in this first group.

"It was racing the whole stage. After 10 kilometers, the group split and after that, it was constant fighting to be in the first group. Yesterday was bad, but today, we were keen to take revenge," said Wynants.

"With Timo Roosen, I was in the first group, but Groenewegen was in the group behind so it was not up to us to keep the pace in the first group. The groups came together and several men tried to attack. I moved with them, but with the headwind, it was hard to stay ahead. Phillipe Gilbert went alone, and I was too late to jump on his wheel. Then I came back to the peloton and helped in the pursuit."

Gilbert was caught and the peloton of 70 riders prepared for a sprint in Amilly. Groenewegen had six team-mates around him and they dropped him in the wheel of the leader, Arnaud Demare. Colbrelli sprinted to victory while Groenewegen crossed the line in  fourth.