Dylan Groenewegen says he has too few sprints in the legs to seriously interfere in the battle for day success in the seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia on Friday.

The Dutchman finished seventh in the bunch sprint in Termoli, which was won by Caleb Ewan.

"Of course I would like to win, but on a finish like today I still miss race rhythm and hardness", said Groenewegen, who is riding his first big round since his long suspension.

The stage over 181 kilometers did not have a classic sprint finish, because in the last kilometers there was a short climb.

“I was dropped off well at the foot of that climb, but I had nothing left to sprint,” admitted the 27-year-old Groenewegen.

Groenewegen was satisfied with the work of his team, with riders such as David Dekker, Jos van Emden and the Italian Edoardo Affini.

“We did exactly what we discussed.

we take the positive with us and we continue this line to the coming stages.

I have certainly already taken steps and so have the team.

It feels good to be there again and to feel like a cyclist again.

I'm already looking forward to the next sprint. "

The sprint of the seventh stage with Dylan Groenewegen in the background,

The sprint of the seventh stage with Dylan Groenewegen in the background,

Photo: Getty Images

'Boys have grown closer'

On Wednesday Groenewegen finished eighth in the bunch sprint and on Sunday he finished fourth.

Still, sports director Arthur van Dongen has the feeling that Jumbo-Visma is getting closer to a stage victory.

"We evaluated well after the previous sprint stage. The boys are becoming more and more attuned to each other and you saw that today", said Van Dongen.

"It is nice to see how the boys have gone through fire for each other and also how they have grown closer to each other. So we take the positive things with us, because there are still a number of opportunities to come."

On Saturday, Groenewegen will not have another chance to win a stage, because then a hill stage is on the program and a mountain stage awaits on Sunday.

Monday's stage could turn into a bunch sprint.

The profile of the eighth stage in the Giro d'Italia.

The profile of the eighth stage in the Giro d'Italia.

Photo: Giro d'Italia

See also: View all rankings of the Giro, with Valter in pink