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Watch Dumoulin tee up Bouwman for Giro d'Italia stage win - Video

With the first Grand Tour stage victory of his career, Koen Bouwman (Jumbo-Visma) won a hard-fought stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia on a mountainous day in the southern Apennine mountains.

From a front group of just four riders remaining from the original breakaway, Bouwman was led out by teammate Tom Dumoulin as the finish line loomed ahead and he held off Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates), who finished second and third, respectively. 

It was a deceptive 153km Giro d'Italia stage with only the opening 10km of flat roads followed by 4,500 metres of climbing. Attacks flew all day. After 100km of intense racing and once the imposing climb of Monte Sirino, a first-category climb some 24.4km in length, was conquered, seven riders settled together at the front of the race:  Bouwman, Dumoulin, Mollema and Formolo accompanied by Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious), Davide Villella (Cofidis) and Diego Camargo (EF Education-EasyPost).

More attacks ensued over more climbs as the front group dwindled and the fearsome foursome reached the uphill towards the finish at Potenza, reaching 8% in the final 800 metres and 13% in the final 100 metres.

Bouwman collected maximum KOM points on three of the climbs and secured the blue jersey at the end of the day. Juan Pedro López (Trek-Segafredo) remained in the maglia rosa with a 38-second advantage over Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) in second on GC and another 20 seconds over Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) in third.

Watch the highlights of the opening stage above.

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Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).