Koen Bouwman overjoyed with mountains classification victory: 'I will never forget these three weeks'

He became the Giro d'Italia's first Dutch mountains classification winner

Koen Bouwman Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Koen Bouwman is clearly very proud of making history at the 2022 Giro d'Italia, as he became the first Dutchman ever to win the mountains classification at the Italian Grand Tour.

The Jumbo-Visma rider quite simply obliterated the field, finishing with 294 points at the end of the race. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), who finished in second place, amassed 163 points in comparison.

With his performance exceeding all expectations, Bouwman only had to finish the time trial on Sunday to be confirmed as the winner of the mountains classification. Riding around the 17.4km circuit in Verona, the 28-year-old certainly revelled in the procession he only needed to complete. 

"People shouting your name, I certainly enjoyed it,” Bouwman said afterwards. "It gave me goose bumps."

Speaking about how much the victory meant to him, Bouwman suggests it will live long in the memory. 

"I rode a super nice race here. It was beyond expectations, including mine. I will never forget these three weeks. I also enjoyed it today. Jan Boven [Jumbo-Visma coach] sat behind me in the car and told me to do the same. 

“I was never bored for a day. But now I'm really looking forward to seeing friends and family again. Winning the mountain jersey is very special. Dutch cycling fans have been spoiled in recent years, and again with this Giro. It makes me proud to be a part of it now."

Bouwman first took the blue mountains jersey after stage seven, which he also won. From then on, at no point did it look likely that the Dutchman would relinquish control of the maglia azzurra. 

Whenever a breakaway formed during the mountain stages of the race, Bouwman ensured he always stayed at the head of the pack to take maximum mountains classification points. Clearly this tactic worked to perfection, as he comfortably rode to the blue jersey come the end of the race. 

Bouwman also won stages seven and 19, too, further highlighting the success he enjoyed at this year's Giro d'Italia. These stage wins were also the first Grand Tour victories he has picked up in his career, giving further reason as to why he understandably enjoyed the race so much.

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.