Meet Olav Kooij
Olav Kooij is one of the talented riders of Jumbo-Visma Development Team. He sta...
In his debut year as a U23 rider, Owen Geleijn will wear the Jumbo-Visma Development Team shirt. The 19-year-old rider from Rijsenhout, The Netherlands, hopes to step up to the World Tour in a few years.
What do you do next to cycling?
“I am currently taking a Human Movement Sciences course at college level in preparation for the bachelor Human Movement Sciences. I will take this bachelor at the VU University in Amsterdam. I will start this study in September. We have to wait and see how the combination with cycling will work, but I have faith in it.”
If you don't watch cycling on TV, what do you like to watch?
“I don’t actually watch that much TV. When the television is on, I mainly watch sports. Mainly tennis, speed skating and cyclocross. In the winter I also do cyclocross. This winter, I devote my cyclocross endeavors to the road season. That was not the case in previous years. Then the importance of my cyclocross season was equivalent to my season on the road. I have now chosen the road, thanks in part to the great opportunity I now get from Jumbo-Visma Development Team.”
What is your favourite professional race?
“Then I would choose a grand tour anyway. The Giro d’Italia is my favourite. The course is great and the race is done in a beautiful way.”
How do you look back at your time as a junior?
“I had two beautiful years. I raced a lot in the front and showed myself in the toughest races. I found out that the climbing work suits me well. If I have the opportunity to train in Limburg, I will take it. After all, it is very flat in Rijsenhout, where I live.”
"In the long term, I hope to end up in the World Tour"
How has your local cycling association contributed to your development as a rider?
“I started racing for my club WV de Amstel when I was ten. For the U17 and the U19 we had a very nice race program with a big group of riders. In addition, there were sufficient training options. The club has certainly helped me in my development.”
What are your expectations for the upcoming season?
“It will certainly not be easy. I hope, just like in recent years, to participate in the front. This year will also be about gaining experience. The style of racing will change. With the juniors, the race is on from the start. I expect it will be different this year and that we will race in a controlled way a little more.”
Where do you hope to be in a few years?
“In the long term, I hope to end up in the World Tour. That is my goal.”