• The Dutch rider times his final effort to perfection to seal his victory in style
Dutch rider Koen Bouwman timed his final effort to perfection to win the seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia, a 196km ride between Diamante and Potenza yesterday.
The Jumbo-Visma rider, who was in the day’s breakaway with his team mate and compatriot Tom Dumoulin, jumped away from the leading group 100 metres from the line on a brutal uphill drag to beat another Dutchman, Bauke Mollema.
Italy’s Davide Formolo came home third ahead of Dumoulin.
Spain’s Juanpe Lopez retained the overall leader’s maglia rosa after finishing safe in the peloton.
A strong breakaway of seven riders, featuring former Giro champion Dumoulin and Tour de France stage winner Mollema, built an advantage of over six minutes.
The peloton was controlled by Lopez’s Trek-Segafredo team as the main contenders stayed quiet.
The bunch upped the pace to prevent Dumoulin making up for the time he lost in the climb up Mount Etna on Tuesday. The Dutch rider started the stage 8:30 off the pace.
The breakaway group’s lead shrank quickly and Bouwman, hoping to take the maglia rosa, attacked from the front of the race with 42km left, but his move did not stick.
In the third-category climb to La Sellatta, Dumoulin tried his luck several times but the sharpest attack came from Formolo.
Mollema, Bouwman and Dumoulin, however, caught up with him 1.5km from the top.
On a steep section 9km from the line, Dumoulin fell behind.
He fought his way back but had nothing left in the tank, leaving Bouwman, Formolo and Mollema to fight it out for the stage win.
Today’s eighth stage is a 154km ride in and around Napoli.
Results and standings
Stage: 1. Koen Bouwman (NED/Jumbo) 5hr 12min 30sec (average: 37,632 km/h), 2. Bauke Mollema (NED/TRE) at 02sec, 3. Davide Formolo (ITA/UAE) 02, 4. Tom Dumoulin (NED/JUM) 19, 5. Davide Villella (ITA/COF) 2:25, 6. Lennard Kämna (GER/BOR) 2:59, 7. Vincenzo Albanese (ITA/EOK) 2:59, 8. Joao Almeida (POR/UAE) 2:59, 9. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 2:59, 10. Richard Carapaz (ECU/INE) 2:59,
Overall: 1. Juan Pedro Lopez (ESP/Trek) 28hr 39min 05sec, 2. Lennard Kämna (GER/BOR) at 38sec, 3. Rein Taaramae (EST/INT) 58, 4. Simon Yates (GBR/BIK) 1:42, 5. M Vansevenant (BEL/QST) 1:47, 6. W Kelderman (NED/BOR) 1:55, 7. Joao Almeida (POR/UAE) 1:58, 8. P Bilbao (ESP/BAH) 2:00, 9. Richie Porte (AUS/INE) 2:04, 10. R Bardet (FRA/DSM) 2:06.