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Cycling | 25 maart 2018

Bouwman shows character finishing fifth in Coppi e Bartali

Koen Bouwman has finished fifth in the Settimana Cyclist Coppi e Bartali. This despite the fact he crashed two days ago. The 24-year-old from the Dutch province of Gelderland clocked the fourth time in the concluding time trial from Fiorano Modenese to Montegibbio. The team performed well in general with Neilson Powless coming in sixth in the ITT and ninth overall.

“Koen and Neilson performed in an excellent way”, sports-director Sierk Jan de Haan said. “Koen didn’t only surprise us today, but also himself. This morning, he struggled due to his injuries and he wasn’t feeling too well. The wounds hurted more than yesterday. Before the start he said that he was going to see what would happen, but he really surprised himself. And we are very happy about that. He has showed he is a true warrior and that his shape is comparable to the shape he displayed during last year’s Dauphiné. It is a pity that he crashed two days ago, because Koen could have done better in the GC. But it is what it is.”

Furthermore, Powless clocked a solid time. “He found it a bit disappointing. He was held up a few times, which cost him a few seconds. But he is still young and what he has shown here is very promising.”

Looking back, De Haan is very positive about his young team. “We have achieved all our goals with these young guys. We have won a stage and we were in front every day apart from yesterday’s windy stage. But they will learn from that. All in all some of the guys really have made a step forward.”

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