Dylan Groenewegen: Focused on the Classics in 2015
Roompot is a new team on the international cycling scene, and amongst the riders it signed for this first season we can find Dylan Groenewegen, one of the biggest Dutch talents at the moment. Coming from Amsterdam, the 21-year-old made a name for himself since he was a junior and won a stage in the Driedaagse van Axel and another one in Liège-La Gleize. Then, as an U23 cyclist, he went on to confirm his potential, by taking a stage in the Tour de Normandie, as well as the Tour of Flanders, where he became only the third Dutch winner since the inception of the race, in 1936.
That victory in Flanders caught up the interest of many pro teams, so eventually Dylan Groenewegen ended up going to Roompot, the only Pro Continental Dutch team. Here he will have the chance of developing, while racing a nice program that will also include some Spring Classics. Last week, while in the training camp, I got to talk to Dylan, thanks to Mister Léon Boele, the team’s press officer, and ask him more about his expectations ahead of this season.
– Dylan, how did you began cycling?
Cycling has been for a long time in my family, almost everyone has cycled or is still active in races and other cycling events. One day I went to a race, received a prize and from that moment on I wanted more. Riding races began as a hobby, but soon I realized that I wanted to be a professional and now I am very happy to make this step with Team Roompot.
– In the past years, you have had some very strong results, one of which was winning the U23 Tour of Flanders. How important was that victory for you?
The goal was to have good results from the start of the season, and the main target was to win the U23 Tour of Flanders. I was second in 2013 and I really wanted to win it, so at the finish I was glad it worked out well and I reached my goal.
– Did you have any major disappointment in 2014?
There are always this kind of moments, and one of these was missing the U23 National Championships last summer, which was an important goal for me. I could have still raced as an U23 this year and try to go again for this, but I have chosen to make the step to the pros and I’m happy with this.
– What’s the story of your transfer to Roompot?
I had an agreement with a team early in the 2014 season, but they stopped, so then I had to choose between BMC and Roompot. The last gave me a lot of confidence, so I went there. I like it a lot, because here is nice, there are many Dutch riders and the atmosphere is really great.
– Jean-Paul van Poppel said that you aren’t afraid in the sprints and can always improvise. How do you rate your skills?
My sprint is very good, but it should be even better. I want to improve it with the help of Jean-Paul van Poppel, who is the team’s mentor. When the terrain is difficult, my sprint is very important, because I can use it as a strong weapon.
– What races will you do in the first months of the season?
I will begin next month, in France, with the Etoile de Bessèges, then I hope to start Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem and other one-day races.
– And what objectives will you have in this first year?
I’d like to be able to perform well in some Spring Classics. Having a powerful sprint, I really hope this will help me to show myself in the big races of the calendar. In the future, it goes without saying I want to win many races.