Meet Olav Kooij
Olav Kooij is one of the talented riders of Jumbo-Visma Development Team. He sta...
Maurice Ballerstedt had a strong season last year as a second-year junior. The 19-year-old German from the Jumbo-Visma Development Team, living in Berlin, took the win in the GP Luxembourg and won the silver medal during the European Championship in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
How did the first months as a rider of the Jumbo-Visma Development Team go?
“There was a good atmosphere in the team from day one. We all have the same goal and everyone motivates each other, both on and off the bike. Everything is top notch and arranged in detail. I can’t wait to ride the first race in this shirt.”
What are you doing next to cycling?
“I finished high school last year. I am currently doing an internship at a physical therapist for a year. That interests me and it is easy to combine with cycling. In addition, I am busy learning Dutch, although there is still a lot to be gained there.”
"I can’t wait to ride the first race in this shirt"
How did you experience your junior time?
“That was a nice period. Although it was not always easy to combine with school, I still achieved good results. In recent years, I saw cycling primarily as a hobby. Now it will be my main occupation.”
What is your favorite professional course?
“Without a doubt Paris-Roubaix. Every edition is great to watch on TV and it is a spectacular race. I can still remember that I was very impressed when I saw this race on TV for the first time. I think I am a cyclist for the classics. The world championship will be held in Belgium in 2021 and I’m really looking forward to that. Hopefully I can appear at the start there and put down a great performance.”
Last year you won the silver medal at the European championship in Alkmaar. What was it like to ride such a big race in The Netherlands?
“Riding a championship is of course always very special, especially if it takes place in the country of your future team. I had some health problems in the days before the race; I was very happy to finish second. It was a nice race in a good ambiance. The people along the course were very enthusiastic and that made this race a very nice experience.”
What are your expectations for the upcoming season?
“It will of course be a different season than previous years. The races are longer and heavier, but I think we have had a good preparation. Me and the team always strive for the best result. The German time trial championship is a goal for me. Here I want to qualify for the World Championship in September.”