Cycling | 19 april 2018
Attacking Bouwman and Bennett on podium in Alps
George Bennett and Koen Bouwman have both ended the fourth stage of the Tour of the Alps with a podium finish. Bennett was second, Bouwman third. Team LottoNL-Jumbo's duo attacked several times in the last twenty kilometres and secured a top ranking.
During the chaotic stage under warm conditions, there were many attacks from the group with favourites. Both Bennett and Bouwman tried to break away several times. For a short while, Bouwman seemed to be gone for good, but he was picked up just before the summit of the last climb.
That turned out to be part of the plan. “I did not want to waste all my energy on that climb, and I rode away from that group at my own pace. On the steep stretch I waited, because I knew that Aru was coming. Back in the group we rode to the finish, I had a good chance of winning. It was a pity that it didn’t end in a sprint for the win. Eventually I won the sprint for third place. Becoming second and third gives us confidence for the Giro."
George Bennett was also seen in the front several times. In the last kilometre he tried to compete with Sanchez, who ultimately won the stage. Bennett didn’t manage to ride for the win, but he wasn’t caught by the thinned peloton either. Sepp Kuss, for example, abandoned the race today.
“It was a really nice stage”, Bennett said. “You always want to win, but when you don’t, you have to remain positive. Two days ago I was pretty worried about how I was doing. But now I think I’m starting to feel a little bit better. It was really cool that Koen did so well. It’s a big result for him too. He’s working hard and it’s paying off.”
“If I feel good tomorrow, I will attack again. If I don’t, I’ll follow. We’re riding this race with a 'no stress' approach”, the New Zealander concluded.