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 won the final stage and the final classification of the ZLM Tour. The sprinter of Team Jumbo-Visma had already taken two stage wins but managed to secure his third in the finish in Rijsbergen. In addition to the general classification, Kooij also won the points classification and the youth classification.
Team Jumbo-Visma could look back on a successful week. The yellow and black brigade coloured the race in their own country. The team, consisting of five riders trained in the own Development Team, rode a dominant race and took the team classification.
Team Jumbo-Visma kept cool. With Lars Boven in a controlling role, the breakaway did not get far. In the final phase, a sprint proved inevitable. Thanks to an impressive acceleration, Kooij treated his teammates and himself to a third stage victory. Kooij’s 2022 victory tally, after the stage and final victory in his own country, is eight wins. For his team, Kooij achieved victory numbers 21 and 22 this year.
"With the stage win, we were able to put the icing on the cake"
"It was a successful week”, the 20-year-old sprinter said. "We knew the final victory was up for grabs if nothing crazy happened. With the stage win, we were able to put the icing on the cake. It is great to win all the classifications. We don't race in our own country that often; to have a week like this is wonderful."
Former professional cyclists Maarten Wynants and Robert Wagner, both in the role of sports director this week, were impressed. "Maarten and I haven't been sports directors very long; this was a fantastic week for us”, Wagner said. "We had young, hungry riders in the team. There's a lot of power and energy in this group, which makes it great to work with them. We had a daily plan and did great lead-outs for and with Olav. Almost all guys are around twenty years old and ride very strong, together with experienced guys like Tosh and Jos. That makes this victory very special."
Wagner was closely involved in setting up Jumbo-Visma Development Team a few years back. The German can conclude that the structure of the in-house development team also yields good results in the ZLM Tour. "This week underpins that we are doing well with a view to the future. Men like Michel, Olav, Tim, Mick and Lars all come from the Development Team. It is nice to see that the work we have put into these guys over the past two and a half years has been effective. Not only for the riders but also for the team and the training programme."