Bouwman beats Mollema and wins spectacular Giro stage | NOW

Koen Bouwman cleverly won the seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia on Friday. The 28-year-old rider of Jumbo-Visma was the best in a sprint of a leading group of four, including no fewer than three Dutchmen.

Bouwman was clearly the strongest in the sprint up the hill in Potenza. Bauke Mollema finished second and the Italian Davide Formolo was third. Tom Dumoulin started the sprint for teammate Bouwman and crossed the line in fourth.

Bouwman, Mollema and Dumoulin were part of a leading group that initially consisted of seven riders. With Wout Poels there was even a fourth Dutchman with him, but the climber from Bahrain Victorious had to let go on the penultimate climb.

Bouwman is also the new wearer of the blue jersey, as leader in the mountains classification. The Dutchman, twelfth in the Giro last year, recorded his first Grand Tour win and his second individual victory as a pro in the south of Italy. He was the best in France in the third stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2017, also a WorldTour race.

Juan Pedro López finished in the peloton, which crossed the line at 2 minutes 59 seconds from Bouwman. The Spaniard remains number one in the general classification. Bouwman rose to fourteenth place at 2.19 minutes from the pink jersey. Wilco Kelderman (+1.59 minutes) remains the best Dutchman in seventh place, Dumoulin (+5.40 minutes) is 33rd.

A hilly stage with start and finish in Naples is scheduled for Saturday in the Giro.

Result of stage seven Giro d’Italia

  • 1. Koen Bouwman (Ned)
  • 2. Bauke Mollema (Ned) +0.02 minutes
  • 3. Davide Formolo (Ita) +0.02
  • 4. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) +0.19
  • 5. Davide Villella (Ita) +2.25
  • 6. Lennard Kämna (Germany) +2.59
  • 7. Vincenzo Albanian (Ita) zt
  • 8. João Almeida (Por) zt
  • 9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) zt
  • 10. Richard Carapaz (ECU) zt

Dutch day in Giro d’Italia

The route of the seventh stage was ideal for the attackers with two cols of the third, a col of the second and a col of the first category. That’s why there was a fascinating battle to get into the leading group from the start in Diamante.

Mathieu van der Poel and INEOS Grenadiers leader Richard Carapaz were among the riders who tried to break away in the opening phase, but they were unsuccessful. Poels, Bouwman, Formolo and the Italian Davide Villella managed to make a hole on the Monte Sirino (27.6 kilometers at 4 percent).

Dumoulin then led the pack to protect Bouwman’s flight, but to his surprise he made a hole and joined the front runners together with Colombian Diego Camargo. Mollema did the same moments later.

Jumbo-Visma was with two riders and recovered so handsomely from Tuesday’s hard blow, when leaders Dumoulin, Tobias Foss and Sam Oomen lost a lot of time in the stage with the finish on Etna. Bouwman even virtually rode in the pink jersey halfway through the stage when the difference with the peloton approached six minutes, but the Dutch team was mainly concerned with the stage victory.

Koen Bouwman (right) is congratulated by teammate Tom Dumoulin.

Koen Bouwman (right) is congratulated by teammate Tom Dumoulin.

Koen Bouwman (right) is congratulated by teammate Tom Dumoulin.

Photo: Getty Images

Mollema attacks are unsuccessful

Bouwman, Dumoulin, Mollema and Formolo were able to compete for the day’s win, because Poels, Villella and Camargo were unable to keep up with the pace at the front. Mollema tried several times to get away in the final, but the attacks of the Groninger were unsuccessful.

Dumoulin had to release a number of times in the last 25 kilometers, but the Limburger kept coming back. As a result, he was able to do important work for teammate Bouwman in the streets of the finish.

The rider from Gelderland had already shown during the stage that he was the most explosive of the four and he proved that again in the final sprint. As a result, Bouwman booked the best victory of his career.