Cycling | 24 maart 2018
Bruised Bouwman goes down fighting in Italy
Koen Bouwman hasn’t been able to retain his top ranking in the general classification in the third stage of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. After the tough stage of yesterday, when Bouwman crashed hard, the echelons in today’s stage were a bridge too far for him. He can be found in eight place of the GC now.
“On paper, it seemed like an easy stage. One hundred and seventy kilometers of flat roads, with a few local laps. But nothing was further from the truth”, Bouwman said afterwards. “There was a lot of wind and there were many open parts in the local lap, the ideal scenario for echelons. They were formed four rounds before the end. We were in the front of the peloton with the team, but it broke exactly before us. We never managed to get back to the first group after that.”
Bouwman said that the team did everything it could to limit the damage. “We dragged this second group along, but yesterday we also had to put in a lot of effort. It’s a pity that we didn’t succeed. Now we can forget about Neilson Powless's and my classification.”
Yet, the 24-year-old Bouwman could also see the positive side of things. “I never expected to be able to race today after yesterday’s crash. Especially after I spent so long in the ambulance and in the hospital. Last night, I could not eat and drink. All in all, it wasn’t an ideal preparation for today.”