Otterspeer takes gold at Dutch Sprint Championships, clean sweep for Team Jumbo-Visma
At the Daikin Dutch Sprint Championships, Hein Otterspeer won his third national...
Team Jumbo-Visma has made a good impression in the seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia. The yellow-black formation showed themselves explicitly in the treacherous Italian crosswinds and brought their leader Steven Kruijswijk to the finish in Brindisi without any problems. The stage eventually ended in a bunch sprint.
In the short stage from Matera, the danger of crosswinds was looming. Team Jumbo-Visma took the initiative together with Deceuninck-QuickStep to split the peloton apart after barely seven kilometres into the stage. About thirty riders were left at the front with Kruijswijk, Van Emden, Pfingsten, Martin and Bouwman for Team Jumbo-Visma. Eventually everything came back together. In the remainder of the stage the team was spared from crashes and Kruijswijk was guided through the technical final by Jos van Emden and Christoph Pfingsten.
Koen Bouwman is riding an excellent Giro in support of Kruijswijk. He had seen a very strong team. “It was full throttle all day, with echelons and a lot of nervousness. Everyone knew it was going to split and it was one big fight for positions. We were well-positioned at the front and then we took the initiative. For a moment it seemed that we were going to do a very good job in terms of the general classification, but in the end, that did not work out. That’s a pity. But most importantly, we didn’t lose any time either. The team was very strong today. The morale is high and everyone is in good shape.”
Sports director Addy Engels concurred. “We knew it was going to be a stage for echelons. That’s how we approached the stage. We were where we had to be to split the peloton. We took the initiative really early. That seemed the best way for us. It was a good move, but there was too much cooperation from behind to go all the way to the finish. In stages like today we prefer to take matters into our own hands. That is always better than having to react to a bad situation. You never know what can happen. In the final there were still some crosswinds, but it was not enough to make another move. However, it remained very nervous and we had to stay focused and we had to keep paying attention. It was a stressful afternoon. It’s a pity that we didn’t gain time on some of the competitors, but I’m proud of how we raced as a team. The team is very strong and very motivated. This gives confidence for the rest of the Giro.”