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Kooij looking forward to first races as a professional

Kooij looking forward to first races as a professional

On July 1, Olav Kooij will transfer to the World Tour team of Team Jumbo-Visma. Until that date he will race in the Development Team jersey. The nineteen-year-old rider is looking forward to the season in which his dream of becoming a professional cyclist will come true.

In sporting terms, 2020 was a good year for the sprint talent. The young rider from Numansdorp, The Netherlands, managed to achieve no less than six individual victories. “Last year was certainly successful. As a sprinter you look at the number of victories you have achieved. Of course that doesn’t say everything, but it is an important statistic.”

A season in two parts, that's how Kooij sees the upcoming year. “I’m not really working on the period after July 1. I’m currently focusing on my training sessions and the first races. After the Dutch U23 Championship, the moment has come to make the switch.”

"Ultimately, I have the ambition to develop myself in the coming years into a sprinter who can win races at World Tour level."

Olav Kooij

“Normally I would have kicked off my season in February in the Volta ao Algarve with the pros. The plan was just to see how that goes. It was a good opportunity to gain experience and learn in such races. Unfortunately my start of the season has been postponed. If everything goes on, I will now start my season in Le Samyn."

"Ultimately, I have the ambition to develop myself in the coming years into a sprinter who can win races at World Tour level. Until the first of July I will mainly ride in the shirt of the Development Team, until my transfer. Until that moment, I want to show myself in a classic, like Paris-Roubaix for U23 riders. Last year, those kinds of races were dropped due to the Covid restrictions. Partly for that reason, I’m looking forward to testing myself in these races and to seeing what I am capable of.”

“I hope that my transfer and also the transfer of Gijs Leemreize will prove to be a nice stimulus for the other guys from the Development Team. Things can go fast sometimes. I did not expect my transfer, but that does not make it any less beautiful.”

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