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Dylan Groenewegen will trade his Jumbo-Visma jersey for a berth at BikeExchange in 2022.
It was announced Saturday that Jumbo-Visma has released Groenewegen from a contract due to run through 2023 after the Dutchman received a lucrative offer from Team BikeExchange-Jayco. The 28-year-old will join the Aussie squad on a three-year deal starting January 1 2022.
“In order not to impede the sporting development of the rider who helped shape the success of Team Jumbo-Visma, general director Richard Plugge agreed with Groenewegen to dissolve the contract,” read a statement from Jumbo-Visma on Saturday.
Also read: How Jumbo-Visma stood by Groenewegen
Groenewegen stepped up to the WorldTour with LottoNL-Jumbo in 2016 and amassed a series of marquee stage-wins at the Tour de France and Paris-Nice in the years since. His decision to leave his home squad comes after the team supported him through his long ban from racing after his involvement at the horror crash in the 2020 Tour of Poland.
“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 Saturday.
“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.”
The signing comes as something of a surprise after BikeExchange – also home of fast-finishers Michael Matthews and Luka Mezgec – recently confirmed it had closed its books for 2022. General manager Brent Copeland said the deal was done quickly and painlessly.
“There was no hesitating when this opportunity came around, 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,” Copeland said.
“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.”
Jumbo-Visma boss Plugge said that the decision to release Groenewegen was entirely benevolent after their long and fruitful relationship.
“Dylan’s desire to ride the biggest races is very understandable,” Plugge said. “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 was quick to get the ball rolling when he returned to competition this season after his suspension. Three top-10s in his Giro d’Italia comeback foreshadowed a brace of sprint wins at the Tour de Wallonie and a handful more top results through the fall.
However, with Jumbo-Vimsa increasingly focused on GC racing with Primož Roglič, Tom Dumoulin and Jonas Vingegaard, Groenewegen’s grand tour opportunities may have been limited in coming years.
Jumbo-Visma will now look toward its stable of rising young Dutch riders for sprint success.
“With Olav Kooij and David Dekker, among others, we have young sprinters knocking on the door,” Jumbo-Visma sport director Merijn Zeeman said. “Now Dylan is leaving, they will have other opportunities, and that will be good for their development.”
Jumbo-Visma has now seen a number of high-profile moves this off-season. Rohan Dennis, Tiesj Benoot and Christophe Laporte come in, while George Bennett goes to UAE-Emirates. German veteran Tony Martin retires.
Meanwhile, BikeExchange-Jayco loses Esteban Chaves and Mikel Nieve, but scoops up a number of riders including American powerhouse Lawson Craddock.