Kooij ninth on first stage ZLM Tour
Surprisingly, the first bunch sprint of the ZLM Tour did not take place. Olav Ko...
Menno Huising has won the Flèche Ardennaise. The 19-year-old Dutchman of the Jumbo-Visma Development Team rode well on the climbs in the final and beat Francesco Busatto in a sprint-a-deux. Huising's victory brings the Development Team's tally to seven wins.
"I felt great", a proud Huising said. "Three riders broke away on the last climb, and I was a little concerned that we wouldn't see them again. But in the chase, I realised I wasn't quite on my limit. A Bardiani-CSF rider closed the gap, and then I was able to finish perfectly."
The final kilometres were hectic, the winner said. "The final is always a bit of a gamble. It's a game of jumping along or not. You need a bit of luck, but I think I was the strongest. It also says a lot about our team that the five of us were able to be pretty dominant. Darren van Bekkum and I kept in touch during the race and finally decided to have me go for it. I really want to thank the guys for that."
"Luckily the team believes in me and gives me room to develop."
Huising also took a moment to reflect on his development. "I felt pretty good over the winter, but then I had some illnesses and crashes that set me back. I also had to get used to the U23 level and the long races. Luckily the team believes in me and gives me room to develop. That worked incredibly well today."