Visma DS wants to reward Koen Bouwman's performances with more responsibility: "It's incredible to watch him seize the day, whenever he gets the chance"

After breakthrough 2022 Giro d'Italia where he has won two stages and KOM classification, Koen Bouwman now adds first GC victory to his palmares at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. His Visma | Lease a Bike bosses naturally see the Dutchman's improvement and want to reward him with more leadership opportunities in the future, sports director Addy Engels tells IDLProCycling.

"Koen steps up when it counts," Engels observes. "He had that stage win in the Dauphiné, but the Giro really proved to him that he could perform at that level. While opportunities like that are rare, Koen knew the role he had to play last year in the Giro alongside Primoz. He got his chance to shine later in the season in Luxembourg, and we try to plan for those moments. It's incredible to watch him seize the day, whenever he gets the chance."

"We approached the Coppi e Bartali differently than usual. Typically, we rally around a clear leader, but this time, we blended our development and WorldTour teams, offering equal opportunities to everyone. It was a delight to see Koen seize his chance. The team fully backed him in the end, striving for the win when you're in such a prime position. Koen was our standout rider here, and he fully deserved that spot."

Visma | Lease a Bike's message is clear: show us what you've got. "Koen usually participates in the Tour de Suisse, where we don’t really compete for the general classification. Those are opportunities, but the Tour de Suisse is on a different level compared to the Coppi e Bartali," Engels suggests.

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