Meet Olav Kooij
Olav Kooij is one of the talented riders of Jumbo-Visma Development Team. He sta...
Mick van Dijke is on the eve of his second season as a U23 cyclist. The Dutch champion mountain bike U23 and twin brother of Tim van Dijke cannot wait to kick off his cycling season.
The new cycling season is about to start. What was the preparation like?
“I had a good winter and I’m ready to start the season. After a long season it is nice to go into the winter and take it a bit slower, but in the end, a period without races always takes a long time. The training camps we had were precious. We trained well, but in the end you do it for the races.”
How did you like the first months as a Jumbo-Visma Development Team rider?
“Very much. The team is super professional and I notice that the training makes me better. In recent years, as a mountain biker, I mainly trained on explosive power and intervals. It is now a matter of transforming me into a road cyclist. My endurance will become a little better and that is also necessary. Not only in the area of training, but also in the area of nutrition, the guidance is very good. In addition, it gives peace of mind if you can focus on the sporting part.”
How are you going to combine road cycling with mountain bike?
“I will race a lot on the road, so there will be less riding on the mountain bike. Nevertheless, I will be on the mountain bike in certain periods. Until the World Championship in Albstadt I will ride a number of international competitions and of course the Dutch championship, where I will defend my title. It will be difficult to ride just as strong in terms of technique as last year because I ride a lot less races, but I am curious how far I can get.”
"When it turned out that both Tim and I could make the transfer, the choice was made quickly."
How do you look back on your first season as a U23 rider?
“It was a great season, but I noticed that my endurance capacity was not yet optimal last year. I was able to compete in the front the entire race and animate the race, but in the final I was often exhausted and I couldn’t do anything extra. As a mountain biker you train for an hour and a half of racing. Then a course, four to five hours is different.”
What does it mean for you to be part of the Jumbo-Visma Development Team together with your twin brother?
“The fact that the team is interested in you is of course very beautiful and gives your confidence a huge boost. When it turned out that both Tim and I could make the transfer, the choice was made quickly. We have always raced together and it is nice to continue that.”
What do you expect from the upcoming season?
“I expect to take many steps as a cyclist and hope to learn a lot from this team. It is difficult to think result-oriented because I have little experience as a road cyclist. In the first races it will become clear what I can expect from myself this season.”