Dylan Groenewegen took his first victory since his suspension on Tuesday’s opening stage of the Tour de Wallonie.
The 185.7 km stage from Genappe to Héron came down to a bunch sprint, where Groenewegen out-kicked Hugo Hofstetter (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix) to get the win.
The victory comes nearly one year after Groenewegen caused a crash on stage 1 of the Tour of Poland that left Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) seriously injured, with numerous broken bones in his face. The UCI later suspended Groenewegen for nine months.
After a lengthy recovery period, Jakobsen returned to racing at the Tour of Turkey in April. Groenewegen’s first race back from his suspension was the Giro d’Italia. Both riders are taking part in the Tour de Wallonie, where Groenewegen now leads after winning stage 1.
“It is a great relief that it is now working again,” Groenewegen said after the stage. “A lot has happened in my private life, but we’ve worked hard and it’s nice that it’s now working. It was a very difficult time. Of course with the accident, but also privately with the birth of my son. Fortunately that’s going well now. Also the death of my grandfather, that is never fun. To win again is very nice.”