During the last long climb of the day, Dumoulin tried to attack a number of times, but fellow escapee Davide Formolo closed the gap time and again. The four of them (Dumoulin, Bouwman, Mollema and Formolo) headed for the finish line. It eventually became a sprint for the stage win and Bouwman crossed the finish line first, just ahead of Mollema and Formolo. Dumoulin was very happy for his teammate and welcomed him with joy. The pink jersey remains on the shoulders of Spaniard Juan Pedro López.
Dumoulin congratulates his teammate.
“I really can’t believe it. In the final there were four of us, and Tom did a fantastic job in the last two kilometers. I had a lot of confidence in the sprint, I’m so happy,” said the lucky winner immediately afterwards. “After the disappointment on Etna, we decided to go for podium places in particular. It is bizarre that it succeeds in the first attempt.”
It immediately became clear on Friday that the Dutch had set their sights on this stage. With more than 120 kilometers to go, a leading group of seven men had formed with no fewer than four Dutchmen. Dumoulin, Mollema, Wout Poels and Bouwman, together with Davide Villella, Formolo and Diego Camerga, were given the space of the peloton. The lead went up to more than five minutes and Bouwman even had the pink jersey virtually around his shoulders.
Watch below the moment that four Dutchmen are driving in the leading group:
Source: Discovery +
The leading group continued to work together excellently, as a result of which their lead fluctuated constantly between 5 and 5.5 minutes. During the toughest climb of the day towards the top of the Montagna Grande Di Viggiano, Poels had a hard time. He had to let his fellow escapees go. Dumoulin, on the other hand, made a very strong impression throughout the day. The Jumbo-Visma rider received a serious blow a few days ago when he quickly had to give up his ambition to go for a good classification.
It was a double saga for Bouwman, as the Dutchman takes over the mountain jersey from the German Lennard Kämna. For Bouwman it is the second victory of his professional career. He won a stage in the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2017.
Watch the moment that Bouwman takes the mountain jersey below:
Koen Bouwman in the picture on the right.