“I’m ready to race again” - Koen Bouwman set to lead Visma | Lease a Bike at the Tour de Romandie after overall victory at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali

After it was announced that Wilco Kelderman would not be able to ride the Giro d’Italia for Visma | Lease a Bike in May after fracturing his collarbone on the final stage of Paris-Nice, Koen Bouwman replaced his Dutch compatriot in the team’s roster for the first Grand Tour of the season.

Bouwman took the overall victory at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali last month and is now set to lead the team at the Tour de Romandie next week as his final preparation race ahead of the Giro d’Italia, as he looks to hone his form at the Swiss race.

Looking ahead to the Giro d’Italia next month, where he won two stages and the mountains classification in 2022, Bouwman said that “it’s a pity for Wilco that he did not recover in time, but for me, it is a great opportunity to return to Italy. The Giro is one of the most beautiful races I've ever raced. I look forward to racing there again”.

On how he’s had to change his plans with the addition of the Corsa Rosa to his schedule, the Dutchman went on to say “originally, this race would have been one of my bigger goals, but now that I am riding the Giro, we have changed my training schedule”.

The team’s plans for the race are not solely focused around Bouwman though, as he said “it’ll be nice if we can battle for stage wins. With Tim van Dijke, we have a fast man for the hills, and we will also see if we can ride a good classification with Jan Tratnik”.

His victory Settimana Coppi e Bartali definitely gave him confidence going into his upcoming races though, as he said “it’s a great feeling to win a race. In today’s cycling, the prizes are shared by a small group, so it is good to win a race yourself. I’m ready to race again”.

Visma | Lease a Bike for Tour de Romandie 2024:

Koen Bouwman
Tim van Dijke
Jan Tratnik
Bart Lemmen
Robert Gesink
Johannes Staune-Mittet
Julien Vermote

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