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Introducing: Olav Kooij

Introducing: Olav Kooij

Olav Kooij had a successful 2019. The young rider from Numansdorp, The Netherlands, won three stages in the South Korean stage race Tour de DMZ. The new signing of Jumbo-Visma Development Team hopes to be able to show himself again in the new cycling season.

What do you do next to cycling?
“I am currently completing secundary school. I still need to pass three subjects classes. After that I don’t know yet what I want to do. I’m still orienting myself in that area.”

Which rider do you see as an example?
“I think Dylan Groenewegen is a great rider. He has a super strong sprint, I enjoy that. I also enjoy seeing a rider like Sagan, an all-rounder.”

How do you look back at your time as a junior?
“I had some great years. When I came over from the U17, it actually went pretty well. In my first year as a junior, I won nine races, including a number of Dutch classics. As a second-year junior, I managed to continue to perform well. I think I won ten races last year among which a number of beautiful classics.”

"It will of course be tough, but I am curious what I can do in my first year in the U23 category"

Olav Kooij

Last season you won no less than three of the five stages in the Tour de DMZ in South Korea. How did you experience this race?
“First and foremost it was a great adventure. With my club Willebrord Wil Vooruit we went to South Korea. Racing in the DMZ zone was a very cool experience. Of course you do not race in that region that often. The fact that I also won three stages, made the adventure complete.”

You also skated in the past. Do you still do that?
“At the moment I skate less often, but I have done it regularly in recent years. I did this in combination with cycling. I skated many important races, including the national championships. Because cycling became more and more intensive, I decided to focus less on skating. In the winter, I still train on ice twice a week, but I hardly do any more races. Cycling is number one now.”

What do you expect from the upcoming season?
“I especially hope to learn a lot. It will of course be tough, but I am curious what I can do in my first year in the U23 category. I do not yet have specific expectations. Yet I hope to show something beautiful here and there.”

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