Bronze for Kooij at world championships U23

Bronze for Kooij at world championships U23

Olav Kooij has won the bronze medal at the world championship U23. The nineteen-year-old Kooij crossed the finish line in the Belgian town of Leuven just after the Italian Baroncini and the Eritrean Ghirmay.

The new world champion escaped in the final phase and managed to stay ahead of the reduced peloton. In the final two kilometres some riders joined Kooij in the front, including Mick van Dijke, but the latter crashed at the bottom of the Sint Antoniusberg. As a result, Van Dijke was no longer able to get involved in the battle for the victory.

Kooij looked back on his bronze medal with mixed feelings. “On the one hand I am proud to be on the podium, but on the other hand there is a bit of disappointment because of missing out on the world title and that beautiful rainbow jersey. We had hopes to sprint for the win. That was the goal going into the last lap. I think as a team we did everything we could. It was a pity that Mick crashed, because he might have been doing a crucial pull in preparation for a sprint. We can’t blame ourselves for anything and rode a good race. It was great to ride this world championship among all those enthusiastic fans. That made for a cool atmosphere.”

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