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Rejuvenated Groenewegen scores win number seven of 2022 in Norway

BRONNOYSUND NORWAY AUGUST 12 Dylan Groenewegen of Netherlands and Team BikeExchange Jayco celebrates at podium as stage winner during the 9th Arctic Race Of Norway 2022 Stage 2 a 1543km stage from Mosjen to Brnnysund ArcticRace on August 12 2022 in Bronnoysund Norway Photo by Michael SteeleGetty Images
Dylan Groenewegen of Team BikeExchange-Jayco celebrates stage 2 victory at Arctic Race of Norway on the podium (Image credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images)

A rejuvenated Dylan Groenewegen sprinted to his seventh victory of the 2022 season at the Arctic Race of Norway on Friday, and there could yet be more to come as the Dutchman turns his attention to a series of one-day races this autumn.

Groenewegen had endured a tough 2021 campaign, his last with Jumbo-Visma, in the wake of his now-infamous crash with Fabio Jakobsen at the 2020 Tour de Pologne. However, since transferring to BikeExchange-Jayco this year, the 29-year-old has been a regular on the top step of the podium.

His triumph in Brønnøysund marks the 63rd of his career, with five Tour de France stages – the latest coming last month – among them. Other wins in 2022 have come at the Saudi Tour, Tour de Hongrie, Veenendaal-Veenedaal Classic, and the Tour of Slovenia. Groenewegen is clearly in a happy place at his new team.

"The legs were really good, the motivation is really high, and I'm really happy with my team," Groenewegen told Cyclingnews following his time on the podium on Friday afternoon.

"They're behind me in every race. I don't have a normal lead-out train here, but you see that the climbers want to help me and give me everything. Tomorrow I hope I can do something for them. I'm really happy this year that I have this team around me."

Groenewegen had said at the start of the week that he saw just the one sprint opportunity this week in Norway. Stage 2 was the day he was talking about, and so it proved as he beat Amaury Capiot (Arkéa-Samsic) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies) to the line.

He had almost been derailed in the crash which saw Kristian Sbaragli (Alpecin-Deceuninck) touch him and hit the deck at 2km to go. Taking to the grass, Groenewegen stayed upright and was taken deep into the final kilometre by makeshift lead-out man Nick Schultz.

At the front, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and TotalEnergies had squabbled for position, but it was Groenewegen who emerged into the wind at over 250 metres to go. Despite the long sprint and slightly uphill dash to the finish, Groenewegen made the win look easy.

"We knew before that the legs were really good," he said later. "Everyone was looking a bit to us. We put two guys on the front and also Cofidis did a lot of work. In the end I knew I don't have a normal lead-out train, but the guys did an amazing job and brought me to position with 500 metres to go.

"I was also involved in the crash with 2km to go. I was going to the left to the grass. I don't know what happened, I hope everyone is OK. I came back into position and Schultzy brought me to 500.

"Then Capiot was moving up and staying in position. He stopped and it was a little bit early, but I was thinking I go now, otherwise everything behind me is coming. Yeah, it was a really long sprint. It was a nice one. I kept the speed really high."

Groenewegen might not match his best seasons on the bike – in 2018 he took 13 wins and in 2019 he scored 15 – but he's clearly somewhere close to that level and will have several more opportunities to add to his win tally during the remainder of 2022.

After Norway, he'll take on the sprinter's classic, the Bemer Cyclassics in Hamburg, before flying to the USA to contest the inaugural Maryland Cycling Classic on September 4. A number of one-day races in Belgium are also on his schedule as he looks to extend his winning run through the end of the year.

"Winning some more races hopefully," he said when asked about his future plans. "I think the legs are really good. In the Tour the legs were really good, and this shape is still good. Hopefully I can win some other races for the team.

"I came here for a win and there are not so many sprints here but today was a good chance and we took it."

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