Dylan Groenewegen has been released from Team Jumbo-Visma and signed a three-year contract with Team BikeExchange – Team BikeExchange-Jayco from 2022 – to increase his chances of riding the biggest races of the year.
“Dylan’s desire to ride the biggest races is very understandable,” said Jumbo-Visma boss Richard Plugge. “We have always had an excellent relationship. That is why we decided to cooperate with his wish for a transfer. On the other hand, it’s a pity because Dylan is a great rider and a great man. I sincerely hope that he will be successful again on the highest podium.”
Groenewegen has been with Jumbo-Visma for six years, in that time becoming known has one of the fastest sprinters in the world. But he’s also watched the Dutch outfit become a Grand Tour powerhouse, and the sprinter’s status in the team has changed, ruling him out of races where once he’d be first choice. The move to BikeExchange will put him back in pole position.
“Team Jumbo-Visma is perhaps the best team in the world at the moment,” Groenewegen said. “The only reason I’m leaving the sporting perspective. I might miss the Dutch people around me and the Dutch mentality, but this opportunity was too good to pass up. I’m glad we quickly got out of it with both teams. We did so in a good and friendly way.”
Team BikeExchange has had some great seasons in recent years, but 2021 was not one of them. Michael “Bling” Matthews returned after a four-year sabbatical at Team Sunweb (now DSM), but he had a season to forget, while young sprinter Kaden Groves is still developing. Groenewegen’s addition is expected to take the pressure off both the Australian riders, while hopefully chalking up some big sprint victories and cultivating a winning mentality.
“There was no hesitating when this opportunity came around,” said Brent Copeland, general manager of Team BikeExchange-Jayco, “having Dylan joining Team BikeExchange-Jayco is something which brings great excitement to the team, a truly classy rider who rounds off our 2022 roster in a perfect way. I would like to thank Richard Plugge and Team Jumbo-Visma for making the transfer an easy process for all parties. It’s been a constructive process for all people involved.
“Dylan doesn’t need much of an introduction, everyone in the peloton knows him and the potential he has as a sprinter, as well as a great team player, and we certainly believe he will adapt perfectly to our team. Our team owner, Gerry Ryan, has created and supported, since the beginning of the negotiation, the right path to follow in order to secure such a great rider for our team’s future. Our performance staff, together with our Head Sport director Matthew White, are already at work to ensure Dylan has the full support he deserves in order to perform to the best of his ability, as well as fit into the environment of the team.”
The 28-year-old sprinter brings 56 career victories with him to the Australian outfit, including three sprint wins at the Tour de France, the first of them on the Champs-Élysées in 2017. The past couple of seasons have been rather quieter, but Groenewegen hasn’t gone a season without a win since turning pro with Roompot-Oranje Peloton in 2015. His transfer to BikeExchange represents an important step in the life and career of the 28-year-old.
“First of all, I must thank Team Jumbo-Visma and all the staff and riders that I have been working with over the past six years,” Groenewegen said in his new team’s announcement. “We have had amazing results together and I will always be grateful for this. Now it is time to start another chapter of my life and my professional career, and I strongly believe that joining Team BikeExchange-Jayco now is the right to move and environment for me to start winning again. Since I started to talk to Brent (Copeland) and the technical staff, I felt that this was the right place and it is an incredible opportunity, I am looking forward to fighting for important results with the team.”