Giro d’Italia 2022 : Stage 7 – Bouwman takes a beautiful breakaway win

Team Jumbo-Visma put two men into the break of the day, and the disappointment of Mount Etna behind them, to play an absolute blinder on a breathless Stage 7 of the Giro. Koen Bouwman took his maiden Grand Tour victory and the King of the Mountains jersey, but he could not have done so without strong riding from his teammate Tom Dumoulin. Trek-Segafredo’s Mr Tenacity, Bauke Mollema pipped a feisty Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) for second place on the day. Behind the breakaway, the GC leaders kept the action more-or-less together and Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) gains another day in pink.

The anticipation

With the only flat road on the menu at the start of the stage, and the road book showing 4500m of climbing over four categorised climbs, today’s menu was always going to be tasty. The pundits were excited.

The riders were either rubbing their hands in glee or praying for an early break to go.

Ex pro’s were just glad they weren’t there.

The Giro twitter account prepared us for the chaos to come.

Game of Chess – the ‘Getting Into the Break’ edition

That a fight to get in the break-of-the-day would occur was as certain as the fact that said break would go on to contest the win.  The competition was fierce with constant moves firing off the front of an agitated peloton. It continued on the ascent and descent of the Passo Colla with never the right combination riders coalescing. We saw a Lotto Soudal Thomas De Gendt-ing episode, because OF COURSE!

Will this attempt count for the battle of the two Giro De Gendts (Thomas and Aimee (Intermache-Wanty-Gobert))

INEOS-Grenadiers captain, Richard Carapaz, tried a stealth attack – because why not!

At one stage even the first and second on GC – Lennard Kamna (BORA hansgrohe) and Juan Pedro Lopez tried to sneak away with an effervescent Davide Formolo – because it’s FREE-FOR-ALL at this point!

Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) and Davide Formolo both went solo at one point – because maybe it was easier that way!

The chaos reigned over the lower slopes of the Cat 1 Monte Sirino until, slowly but surely, the strongest riders in the right combination came to the fore. At 77km the maglia rosa signalled for a natural break and the break-of-the-day was announced.

Ladies and Gentlemen your 7-man break of the day is announced: Wout Poels, Davide Formolo, Tom Dumoulin, Koen Bouwman, Bauke Mollema, Davide Villella (Cofidis) and Diego Carmargo (EF Easypost). The only team with two riders was the Jumbo Bees, and that was a heck of an advantage to have.

Game of Chess – The ‘Playing for the Win’ edition

Now, I know that there were fans who were disappointed that the GC guys didn’t come out to play today. That once the excitement of the break in virtual pink was neutralised, they preferred to keep their tinder dry for Blockhaus. But I’m here to tell you that I LOVED this stage, and here’s why.

Today was one of those days where we witnessed the machinations of a breakaway setting out to take victory, with a little side of GC ambition. The tactics were bold, brash and intentional and that always leaves me giddy with excitement.

Big Tom set the pace on the final climb and dropped Carmargo and Villella. The break was down to four riders and the Jumbo Bees were sitting pretty with two riders.

The closing kilometres were electric with all four riders launching attack after attack. Bouwman secured more mountain points. Bauke would not let it lie looking for both victory and a GC jump. Formolo had his gamut of facial expressions as he darted and nipped and looked to gain advantage.

Please also sighhhhhhhh at the gorgeous scenery all this attacking took place in!

Meanwhile, Tom D’s pace setting slid into attack mode and at one point he dropped everyone, including his own teammate.

It appeared he had used them all when he dropped away, but with 2km to go Tom returned – re-energised and ready to help Baby Face Bouwman.

All four riders hurtled towards the ramp of a finish line in Potenza where Baby Face Bouwman did what he had done on most of the other summits they’d passed over. He spun it up and zoomed towards the line to take his maiden Grand Tour victory, then collapsed to the ground over come with emotion.

Don’t you just love it when you get the winning shot with teammate with arms aloft in the background – the PERFECT FINISH!

Here’s your highlights

Hooray for the Jumbo Bees

After a day to forget on Etna, it was a joy to see the Jumbo Bees back to their best. They played their twin cards superbly and came away with victory, the maglia azurra, a plethora of emotional, happy finish line images and a smiling Tom Dumoulin. Well played indeed.

It’s unbelievable. I can’t believe it. It was such hard day. We were in the final with four riders and two of us. Tom did a superb job in the last 2km. I was feeling good all day. One time on the climb I was in trouble but I came back and actually I was confident for the sprint. It was steep but when I started to sprint I felt so much power left. I looked behind with 50 metres to go and saw I had a big gap – perfect.

Not a dry eye

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Who wouldn’t like to see a free styling Tom Dumoulin?

Items that tickled my fancy

The De Gendt GC rolls on..

Eurosport’s Adam Blythe wore SOCKS! Yes really!!

They were very natty.

Suze’s #GiroDiProduce is a joy for the taste buds, and this one holds a special place in the heart of Kitty Fondue.

Last Word

Time for some relaxation before Stage 8

All the results

Stage results 

1 Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) 5:12:30

2 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) +0:02

3 Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) same time

4 Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) +0:19

5 Davide Villella (Cofidis) +2.25

GC Top 10 

1 Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo) 28:39:05

2 Lennard Kamna (BORA-hansgrohe) +0:38

3 Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:58

4 Simon PHILIP Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) +1:42

5 Mauri Vansevenant (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) +1:47

6 Wilco Kelderman (BORA-hansgrohe) +1:55

7 Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +1:58

8 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) +2:00

9 Richie Porte (Ineos Grenadiers) +2:04

10 Romain Bardet (Team DSM) +2:06

All the jerseys

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Leader’s jersey : Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo)

Points jersey : Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)

King of the Mountains: Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma)

Best young rider: Juan Pedro Lopez (Trek-Segafredo)

Team : Trek-Segafredo

For full race results, go to CyclingNews

Official Giro d’Italia website is here


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