Kaden Groves on Tour of Oman: ‘We’re learning every day and pretty stoked with our week’
Team BikeExchange-Jayco fastman was working with some of his teammates for the first time in Oman.
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Emerging sprinter Kaden Groves (BikeExchange-Jayco) was nothing if not consistent at the Tour of Oman and is confident he will this year win races with the young team being built around him.
Groves took away valuable lessons from his showing at the 11th edition where he finished on the podium in three from three sprint stages.
The 23-year-old on Tuesday’s sixth and final stage was in the right place but at the wrong time, placing second to Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) on a circuit finish along Matrah Corniche.
Also read: Fernando Gaviria brushes off Mark Cavendish’s anger after Tour of Oman sprint altercation
“It was always our plan to go with a full team into 1km to go but the guys actually started a bit earlier because we were on the front and in position, so Cam [Meyer] took it up,” Groves said.
“Initially it was a headwind, and we knew as we came around it would become more cross-tail-cross, so we thought we’ve got to take it from the front.
“We watched a few of the last years’ edition of this stage and I thought I’ve got to take it up in the sprint.”
Groves kicked first with about 200m to go but couldn’t hold off a fast-finishing Gaviria.
“With the wind, it was a little bit too ambitious, but I had to go and I was in position to do so,” he said.
“In the end, it was probably too early, but Fernando had to have good legs to come around.”
Groves was working with some of his teammates for the first time in Oman, including New Zealander Campbell Stewart. Stewart had served as Groves’ last lead-out man in the desert but couldn’t help on stage six after he came down in a “silly crash” with about five kilometers remaining.
“It was really tough to have one guy down, but the boys did a really good job,” Groves said.
“Second on the day, so another podium, and another really good experience for us.” Groves spent the week dicing with two Tour de France stage winners. He finished third behind Gaviria on stage one and second to Mark Cavendish on stage two.
“All the young guys, myself included, we’re learning every day and pretty stoked with our week, really,” he said.
“There are good quality sprinters here. Hopefully one day we can be that renowned sprint team and I can be one of those sprinters.”
Groves will now head to the UAE Tour where he will compete alongside new teammate Dylan Groenewegen, hopeful of learning from one of the world’s best and then applying that to his own craft and lead-out.
“We’re learning things each day. We’ve just got to keep applying them and this year we are going to win some races,” he said.