Bouwman retakes blue jersey in mountain stage Giro d'Italia

Bouwman retakes blue jersey in mountain stage Giro d'Italia

Team Jumbo-Visma has shown itself at its best in the mountainous fifteenth stage of the Giro d'Italia. Sam Oomen, Gijs Leemreize and Koen Bouwman were in the breakaway. The latter even rode alone in the lead for dozens of kilometres and collected enough points to retake the blue mountain jersey.

It took 80 kilometres before the final breakaway took shape. Bouwman, Oomen and Leemreize were part of a group of 25 riders. The lead on the peloton rapidly increased to about five minutes. Bouwman attacked on the first climb of the day. The winner of stage 7 took the lead on the first climb of the first category, but several riders caught him halfway up the day’s second climb.

Bouwman could not keep up with the pace and decided to save energy for the difficult upcoming week. Leemreize took up position in a group that remained out of the peloton’s reach. The young Dutchman eventually rode to the ninth place in the day's result. After the stage, won by the Italian Giulio Ciccone, Bouwman had to go to the podium as the rider from the Dutch province of Gelderland enters the rest day as leader of the mountain classification. In that ranking, he is seventeen points ahead of Diego Rosa.

"I'm going to do my utmost to retain this jersey"

Koen Bouwman

"I am thrilled to have the jersey back", Bouwman said. "I wanted to take the points on the second climb too. Unfortunately, I had some back problems during the descent of the first climb. I then decided to take it easier. That was a wise choice regarding what is still to come in the last week. There are still a lot of challenging climbs on the programme. I'm going to do my utmost to retain this jersey.“

"The ninth place is a good result"

Gijs Leemreize

Leemreize slipped along with the right breakaway attempt. The debutant kept a high pace throughout the stage. "There were three of us in the 25-rider breakaway. Koen rode a solid first climb. It's very good that he got the mountain jersey back. Looking at my performance, I think I can also be satisfied. It's a shame that my sprint didn't work out, but the ninth place is a good result.”


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