Kooij ninth on first stage ZLM Tour
Surprisingly, the first bunch sprint of the ZLM Tour did not take place. Olav Ko...
Olav Kooij has finished fourth in the final stage of the 4 Jours du Dunkerque. In the sprint, the 21-year-old Dutchman got boxed in. Kooij finished the week in fourth place overall and won the points classification. Team Jumbo-Visma returned home with three stage wins thanks to Kooij and Per Strand Hagenes.
The peloton set off from Avion towards the finish in Dunkirk. Seven breakaway riders led the way for a long time, but their lead quickly dwindled as the peloton entered the local laps of the French coastal town. The expected bunch sprint came, but it did not go as hoped for Kooij.
"I got boxed in, so unfortunately, I couldn't go for the stage win”, he said. "Although I was in a good position for the sprint, the door needs to open in the final metres. That was not the case today. When I got space to sprint, it was already over.”
Kooij finished the stage race in fourth place overall. He won two stages and the points classification. "Because of the course and the weather, it was impossible to try to win the final classification today. The goal was to get another stage win, but unfortunately, that was also impossible. It's a shame I lost third place at the last minute, but that doesn't take away from this fabulous week in which we won half the stages.”
"A very successful week for us"
Sport director Frans Maassen was satisfied. "A very successful week for us. Three stage wins, the team classification and the green jersey are fantastic results. For a long time, we even had the chance to win the general classification, but Romain Grégoire made a strong move yesterday.”
"These are the races where our young riders can show what they can do. They seized this opportunity with both hands. Stage after stage, they were alert. Per is 19 and wins the queen's stage. Olav, 21, won two stages. It's a shame he couldn't sprint all the way today, but we can’t win every single time”, Maassen smiled.
Photo: François LO PRESTI Région Hauts de France