Groenewegen’s ‘beak’ sunglasses removed by UCI request mid-stage

Dylan Groenewegen of Jayco-AlUla made headlines on stage 3 of the 2024 Tour de France, but not for his sprinting. Instead, it was his unusual eyewear that drew attention. Lining up in Piacenza, the sprinter sported a black angular nose piece on his Scicon sunglasses, reminiscent of Batman.

The spotlight on his eyewear was no accident, as the Australian team’s daily stage video began with the Batman theme song and a direct question to Groenewegen: “What’s on your face?”

“Nose pieces … for the aero, so I go faster,” explained Groenewegen, bemused by the attention his glasses received. “I like the glasses and in sprinting you want to be as fast as possible. If you can change small things, then that can change a lot,” he told ITV Sport.

Dylan Groenwegen at the finish (on the far left, red shoulders) with regular sunglasses and nose showing
(Photo credit: ASO)

During the 230.9-kilometre stage 3, Groenewegen was seen wearing the distinctive glasses. However, he finished fifth, behind stage winner Biniam Girmay of Intermarché-Wanty, and the notable nose section of his glasses was absent by the end.

Groenewegen later explained why: “I needed to put it off, from the UCI,” he said in the team video. “That was a big surprise.” When asked if they were too aerodynamic, he added with a chuckle, “Yea, I think so. They didn’t see me pedalling so they say this is not fair enough, so we’ll stop these fast sunglasses.”

The exact reasons behind the UCI’s decision remain unclear as there is no obvious rule that the design breaks. Regardless, the aerodynamic advantages won’t be needed for stage 4, which heads into the mountains – a different challenge where sprinters are more likely to be found at the back of the field.

Main photo credit: Getty Images

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