In photos: Tour de Pologne and Szaka Tour
Sprints in Tour de Pologne! Olav Kooij won his first World Tour race by winning ...
Olav Kooij has finished fifth in stage four of the Tour de Pologne. He sprinted to a top five place on the steep finish in a stage with almost three thousand altimetres. It is the third time in four stages that the young Dutchman has finished in the top five.
Despite the challenging stage profile, the ride from Lesko to Sanok was not spectacular. A five-rider front group tried to escape but was caught about 10 kilometres from the finish. Before that moment, Mike Teunissen attempted to join the leading group but failed. Kooij and some teammates then positioned themselves at the front of the bunch and narrowly avoided a crash in the final phase. In the uphill finish, Kooij sprinted to fifth place.
"It shows great talent that Olav can compete for the podium until the end of the race"
“Before this stage, we thought this finish would be too difficult for a pure sprinter like Olav”, said sports director Maarten Wynants. “Olav said he was feeling good. That’s why we decided to bet on Olav just before the end. It shows great talent that he can compete for the podium until the end of the race. It is another step in his development. Not everything went smoothly for our team at the end”, Wynants referred to the crash in which Tosh Van der Sande was involved. “At first glance, he has some bruises and abrasions. We will have to see later what the exact consequences will be. That accident disrupted our sprint preparation. That’s why it’s great that Olav finished fifth on a finish like this.”