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 sprinted to a stage win in the 4 Jours de Dunkerque in convincing fashion. The sprinter of Team Jumbo-Visma was able to finish off the excellent work of his teammates. It is Kooij’s second victory in the six-day stage race in France.
It was clear from the start that the fourth stage would be for the sprinters. Six riders nevertheless opted for the early breakaway. After a couple of cobbled parts, the peloton broke up, and the escapees were caught well before the finish. Leader Benjamin Thomas had missed the attack and did not return. Kooij easily beat all his rivals in the thinned-out front group.
“I am thrilled with this second victory”, the 21-year-old rider said. “I had good legs today and a super strong team. I have to thank them for doing a great job. They rode for me all day. We were always in the front. We knew that the open roads and cobbled course sections would be important today.
“I got through the day quite easily. In the end, I was well-placed in the sprint. It’s great to be here with a second stage win. As a sprinter, you want to take every chance you get. I did that today”, a proud Kooij said.
"The team rode for me all day, it's amazing to be here with a second stage win"
The rider of the Dutch cycling team made a leap in the general classification due to the bonus seconds at the finish line. Kooij is now in third place, just seven seconds behind leader Kasper Asgreen. “It will be challenging to win the general classification, but we will try. Tomorrow will be a very tough day. I will try to make it through, and hopefully, we can sprint for the win again during the final stage on Sunday.”
This is Kooij’s third victory of the season. Earlier this season, the Dutchman had already won a stage at Paris-Nice. So far, Team Jumbo-Visma has won 26 races this season.
Photos: François LO PRESTI Région Hauts de France