Meet Olav Kooij
Olav Kooij is one of the talented riders of Jumbo-Visma Development Team. He sta...
In early February, New Zealander Finn Fisher-Black captured the world record in the 3000-metre individual pursuit for juniors. A month later, he proved that he also is a decent road cyclist. In Australia, he captured two Oceanian junior titles, one on the road and one in the time trial. Next year, Fisher-Black will make his appearance in the shirt of Development Team Jumbo-Visma.
What is it like for a New Zealander to live in Europe?
“It was pretty tough in the beginning. I was used to living in New Zealand and it takes a while to adjust. I’m slowly getting used to the habits here and it is nice to experience other influences. In addition, there are few guys my age who can travel as much as me. I am very grateful for that.”
“I have a lot of family here in Europe, so I can always go somewhere during the season. In the month before the World Championship in Yorkshire, I spent a lot of time in southern France in a house of my family. It is not clear yet where I will live next year. I will probably live with my sister. She is a rider with the Bigla women’s team.”
What is your favourite pro race?
“I like to watch all the races, especially the classics. If I have to choose one, then it is Strade Bianche. This race is really unique and I hope to ride it one day.”
What are your favourite meals around a race?
“I like to eat cornflakes or something similar beforehand, depending on what’s on offer. What I eat after the race often varies. If I have to race again the next day, pasta is my favourite. This way I ensure that I get enough nutrients to give it all again the next day.”
How does track cycling helps your performance on the road?
“Track cycling helps me enormously in making tactical decisions on the road. It also improves my top speed for shorter efforts. I notice that, thanks to track cycling, I have become better at maneuvering through a peloton, winning in small groups and being able to repeat heavy efforts in a road race.”
What kind of road cyclist are you?
“Essentially a time trialist. In addition, I like short climbs. I still have little experience in spring classics and riding on cobblestones. So I don’t know how I perform in that, but I’m looking forward to experiencing it.”
What do you expect from the upcoming season?
“It will be a year in which I will experience and learn a lot. I am still quite new to European cycling, which is very different compared to the Oceanic way of cycling. I learn from every race I ride. My first goals are the national time trial and the road championships. When my calendar is final, I can specify my goals and work towards great achievements.”