Dylan Groenewegen went agonisingly close to his first stage win of the 2023 Tour de France as stage 11 came down to another hotly contested sprint battle.

The five-time Tour stage winner almost made it six, but was eventually forced to settle for second place as the day reached a sprinting crescendo in Moulins.
Heavy rain made for a tricky finale and as the peloton raced under the one kilometre to go banner Groenewegen looked to be out of contention outside the top-20 wheels, but a monster pull from teammate Luka Mezgec expertly guided the Dutchman into position at the head of the pack.
Groenewegen then waited for his moment before launching his drive for the line with around 250 metres to go and his fierce acceleration immediately opened up a gap. However, Jasper Philipsen proved to be the fastest once again as he jumped off the wheel of Groenewegen to take the stage victory.
Dylan Groenewegen:
“Yeah it’s second, that’s not what we came for. This morning I was really sure that we’d go for the victory, but in the end, somebody was faster. I think as always, we are really good on the front, so we save a lot of energy there, then we came from really far, but I trusted Luka and he brought me totally to the front.
With 400 to go I was thinking it’s maybe a little bit too early, then I went behind Kristoff and I was waiting for his sprint, but he didn’t accelerate really fast, so I go by myself. It was a long way, but I was thinking ‘yeah, today is our day’, but in the end somebody was better.
I have really good confidence in Luka and he showed again that he is one of the best lead out men in the world, so we are a really good combination.”
Mat Hayman (Sport Director):
“With the tricky final like that with the rain coming in at the end, it made it very tricky, but hats off to the boys. It was hectic there, they kept their cool, they were where they needed to be and we wanted to give Dylan some open road and open up, and he got that chance today and that’s all you can ask for.
We’re disappointed, of course we’re disappointed, but when you get beaten like that by someone who is better there’s not much you can do, but we gave him every opportunity.”
2023 Tour de France – Stage 11 Results:
1. Jasper Philipsen 4:01:07
2. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jayco AlUla) ST
3. Phil Bauhaus ST
Photo: Sprint Cycling