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Koen Bouwman, Tobias Foss and George Bennett managed to hold their own among the best in the Giro d’Italia today. At the top of Alpe di Mera, Bouwman came in eighth, with Foss in his wheel. Bennett came in shortly behind the pair in twelfth place.
The nineteenth stage had a fast opening phase. One hour and a lot of pinpricks later the race was on. Six riders formed the breakaway of the day. Due to the control of some teams with classification ambitions, the lead never exceeded four minutes. At the foot of the final climb, it was over for the escapees.
Foss, Bouwman and Bennett were well positioned in the group of favourites. The latter was able to jump along when the British rider Simon Yates decided to drop a bombshell early on. The New Zealander dropped back a little later when it appeared that team mate Foss, number nine in the general classification, had trouble following the high tempo of the favourites. Bouwman was able to firmly hold on to classification leader Egan Bernal, among others, until some two kilometres from the finish.
The Dutchman then took the up-and-coming Foss in tow and guided the Norwegian to the finish line on top of Alpe di Mera. Partly due to his eighth place in the day’s results Bouwman moved up one place in the general classification to twelfth. Foss and Bennett occupy the ninth and eleventh place respectively.
"Today I had my best legs so far in this Giro."
“It looks like Tobias, George and I are riding around with about the same level”, Bouwman said. “Today I had my best legs so far in this Giro. The agreement was that George could jump along if he felt he could compete for the day’s victory. I felt really good and partly because of that I could stay in Bernal’s group for a long time. When Tobias got stuck alone, I waited and took him in tow. I didn’t expect to ride with the best uphill. As a team, we estimated the course well. We’re going to try that again tomorrow. Let’s hope there’s still something in store for us this Giro. I’m definitely looking forward to tomorrow. I feel super good about myself.”