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Olav Kooij has won the Umag Trophy in Croatia. The 18-year-old rider of the Jumbo-Visma Development Team turned out to have the fastest legs of the peloton after more than one hundred and fifty kilometres. For the first year U23, it is his first victory of the season.
Maurice Ballerstedt was part of the breakaway of the day. The German from Jumbo-Visma Development Team and the rest of the breakaway were caught with five kilometres to go. Kooij, last weekend second in the Ster van Zwolle, then sprinted to the win and provided his team with the third victory of the season.
“The race went according to plan”, Kooij said. “Because we had a man in the breakaway, other teams had to do the work. We kept ourselves quiet in the peloton. I’m glad I could finish it off in the sprint. This start of the season is above expectations. Hopefully we can continue this line in the following races. We certainly are a strong team. We proved that again today.”
Sports director Robert Wagner had seen an attentive team once again. “Just like in the Ster van Zwolle, we were well in front the entire race. That was also necessary, because there were many crashes. Maurice was represented in the leading group. The plan in advance was to send a man into the leading group and if it turned into a sprint, we would play Olav’s card. He finished it off in a very strong way. It’s nice to start the season this way.”