Team Jumbo-Visma has just announced the final roster for the Giro d’Italia which starts on May 8. The most notable name on the roster is Dylan Groenewegen after his nine-month suspension for his role in the crash in the Tour of Poland last year that seriously injured Fabio Jakobsen. Groenewegen’s suspension comes to an end on May 7th, just one day before the Giro starts in Turin with a 9km individual time trial.
The remainder of Jumbo-Visma’s Giro d’Italia team consists of George Bennett, Edoardo Affini, Koen Bouwman, David Dekker, Jos van Emden, Tobias Foss and Paul Martens.
You can see the full startlist for the 2021 Giro d’Italia here.
Initially Chris Harper was on the team’s Giro start list but because of an eye condition, the Australian’s place went to Groenewegen.
“We have decided that his place will go to Dylan”, explained sports director Merijn Zeeman in a press release. “Dylan is one of our leaders, but he has not been able to race for a long time due to his long suspension. We had mapped out a nice program for him that would allow him to return to the peloton in the shadows. However, due to corona, the Tour of Norway has already been postponed and it remains to be seen whether the other races he would ride will remain on the calendar. With this solution we opt for more certainty, because after nine months without racing it is the intention for Dylan to return to competition.”
Zeeman added, “Dylan has worked hard for his return, but he has no race rhythm and he will have to find his place in the peloton after everything that happened. That is now the priority. With David Dekker we have another fast man in the team, so we have several options for different situations. It is great that Fabio Jakobsen has made a good return in Turkey. Now that Dylan has served his suspension, it is hoped that the same will apply to him soon. That’s the most important thing now. I hope everyone will give him that chance.”
Groenewegen said, “I have spoken with Fabio before he went to Turkey and it was good to see how well he did there. I am very much looking forward to racing again myself too now and I am glad that I can do that in a beautiful race like the Giro d’Italia.”
Fabio Jakobsen returned to competition at the Tour of Turkey after eight months after his crash. Jakobsen suffered serious injuries after being put into the barriers in the Tour of Poland last August, and despite fears he may never race again, has spent the time since undergoing multiple operations to rehabilitate the damage and methodically return to health.
Groenewegen’s nine month suspension was one of the most heavy-handed punishments handed out by the UCI after the recommendation was made by an independent arbitration committee.