Family, patience, friendship ... Three things to know about the Dutch Dylan Groenewegen, winner of the 7th stage of the Tour de France Friday in Chalon-sur-Saône:
. He is from Amsterdam
Groenewegen was born 26 years ago in Amsterdam, he even lived on the street where Anne Frank's house is located. It is natural that he came to cycling sport, by family atavism.
His grandfather had launched his own brand of cycles before the Second World War. His father later had his own bike shop. No wonder then that the young Dylan rubbed the best juniors before taking, at the age of 20, the second place of the Tour of Flanders hopes and then sign his first professional contract (with the Rompoot team) . A year later, in 2016, he joined his current training, Jumbo, in the WorldTour.
. He knew how to wait after his fall
The jumbo rider, not very big (1.77 m) but strong (70 kg), that many specialists see as the fastest rider of the pack, waited a week to finally raise his arms on the Tour de France 2019, taking his 4th success on the race. Disturbed by a heavy fall from the first day, he had to keep a low profile, to recover.
"I had a lot of money for the yellow jersey and the stage win in Brussels, but I fell really hard during this first stage, I felt better in the last days, I was not far, and today (Friday) the team did a very good job, "responded the runner, who slowly recovered during this first week.
"These last days, I really focused on today's goal, the team did a good job, and I was able to sprint free," said the three-time Paris-Nice stage winner who "knew that day would come".
. He is very tied with the first yellow jersey of the Tour
Groenewegen's fate on this Tour is tied to that of his teammate and compatriot Mike Teunissen, who is the same age as him. The two comrades sleep in the same room at the hotel, and do not leave each other on the bike during sprints.
It is Teunissen who usually takes his friend in the home stretch, like on Friday: "At the 500 meters, I was a little locked up, I asked Mike to put me back, he became skin for me" said Groenewegen, thanking his pilot fish.
Teunissen also knows very well how to do the job alone: on the first stage, after the fall of his leader, he had surprised his world by competing - and winning - the sprint. In the key, a yellow jersey kept until the third stage, and a promise made from the first night: "On the next massive sprints, I will do as usual helping Dylan". Friday, he took him to victory.
© 2019 AFP