Bronze for Kooij at world championships U23
Olav Kooij has won the bronze medal at the world championship U23. The nineteen-...
Antwan Tolhoek has moved up to the second position in the general classification with the second place in the queen stage of the Ruta del Sol. The Dutch rider had to yield to Miguel Angel Lopez in the final metres of the third stage. Nathan Van Hooydonck rode in the attack all day and then did some work for Tolhoek.
Early in the stage ten riders got the chance to escape. Van Hooydonck looked strong and together with his fellow escapees he got a maximum lead of over three minutes.
The race finally exploded on the penultimate mountain. Lopez decided to take the plunge. The Colombian climber saw Tolhoek in his wheel a little later, who was able to get to the front of the race thanks to the help of the retreating Van Hooydonck. In the final metres, Lopez’ sprint proved too powerful for Tolhoek.
"Today’s performance can be called a team performance."
“A great day today”, the runner-up said. “As in the past few days, I am very happy with the way the team rode. We started this race without an absolute leader. Because of the performance of the past few days, the leader’s position has now come to me a bit. While the guys have all the freedom to ride for their own chances, they still help me every time. It’s partly because of the team that I’m having a super day here. Today’s performance can be called a team performance.”
The Zeeuw noticed in the race that Lopez also had a strong day. “Lopez was a bit better than me today. I knew he would counter me if I attacked. With that I would dig my own grave. Nevertheless I kept believing in it until the last metres. Unfortunately, in the sprint it soon became clear that he was stronger than me. The next few days will be about the classification”, Tolhoek expected.
"As sports director I can only say that the boys have all ridden well today."
Robert Wagner was a proud team leader afterwards: “The plan was to have someone in the breakaway of the day. That worked out well in the person of Nathan. Before the start of the Ruta del Sol Antwan already said he felt good and that he was in good shape. The arrivals in recent days were not to his advantage, he lacked the explosiveness. Today the course had many altimeters and that is his territory. Unfortunately Lopez was too good today and second place was the maximum we could achieve. As team leader I can only say that the boys have all ridden well today. Also Nathan showed his best side. Tomorrow looks like it will be a stage for the sprinters. We'll have to be vigilant again.”