Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel
Fem van Empel has marked her return to the field with a victory. The 21-year-old...
Olav Kooij has won the first stage of the Tour of Britain. The 21-year-old Dutchman was the fastest in the bunch sprint. Wout van Aert added to the euphoria at Jumbo-Visma by finishing second after a formidable lead-out.
Five riders formed the early breakaway in the first stage of the eight-day stage race. The peloton, led by Team Jumbo-Visma, only caught the last escapees in the final kilometres. Lead-out rider Wout van Aert put Kooij in an ideal position in the final kilometre. The young Dutchman then sprinted to his eighth victory of the season. Van Aert, in turn, kept everyone behind him to take second place on the podium.
"This is a win for the whole team”, Kooij said. "We had to do everything we could to catch the early escapees at the end, but the guys did a great job. Then, the team guided Wout and me perfectly through the last corner, which put us in an ideal position for the sprint. I'm happy that I was able to finish it off.”
"We can look forward to the rest of the Tour with confidence"
"I came here to take a stage win. To win it right away is great. We can look forward to the rest of the Tour with confidence. I am also happy that I can continue my good form.”
Kooij enjoyed Van Aert's excellent lead-out. "Wout is one of the best riders in the world. The fact that he did the lead-out for me gave me confidence. You can almost be sure that someone like him will lead you perfectly, which he did. It's a luxury to have Wout on the team. And to finish first and second is exceptional”, the stage winner said.
Team Jumbo-Visma has now won 53 races this season after today's triumph.