Van Dijke confident on home turf at ZLM Tour
Team Jumbo-Visma will compete in the ZLM Tour on home soil from June 7 to 11. After a strong spring, Tim van Dijke is eager to hunt for stage wins with the Dutch cycling squad.
The 34th edition of the ZLM Tour starts on Wednesday evening with a prologue of more than six kilometres in Zeeland. Four flat stages will follow. Last year, Olav Kooij finished first in three stages and won the general classification. "That is the main goal for this year as well. I think we can win every day; we have to go for it", an ambitious Van Dijk says.
The 23-year-old rider says he has had the best spring of his young cycling career. Van Dijke rode most of the Flemish spring classics, including the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. "That was really cool. Those were my first cycling monuments. To be at the start of those races and ride for our leaders was excellent. They are by far the most challenging races I have ever ridden."
"I'm really looking forward to the prologue in the ZLM Tour, we'll pretty much be riding in my backyard"
The Dutchman also proved his excellent form in Denain. In the French one-day race, Van Dijke escaped with several other riders at the right time and sprinted to a creditable second place. "Riding in the service of a strong leader is certainly satisfying, but sometimes it is nice to seize your own chance. Unfortunately, I was beaten in the sprint." Last week in Scandinavia, the rider returned to the peloton after an injury and the subsequent period of rest. "In the last stage, I fought for the stage win and finished sixth. It was a great week with a lot of progress", Van Dijke summarised the Tour of Norway.
Van Dijke is looking forward to the ZLM Tour, especially the prologue in Heinkenszand. "I know the course by heart. We'll pretty much be riding in my backyard. It is tough to win a prologue. One second makes the difference between winning and losing. This one is at the top of my wish list. A lot of friends and family will be at the roadside. I'm looking forward to it!"
"We will try to win stages with Olav, but also fighting for the general classification is a goal"
"The following days, we will try to win stages with Olav. He is in good shape, and I think we can win the ZLM Tour like last year", Van Dijk says. "But we have to be sharp every day. The prologue is vital for the general classification, just like the bonus seconds. They can make all the difference next week. If I ride a good prologue, and we can fight for stage wins and the GC with Olav, my week will be a success."
In addition to Van Dijke and Kooij, Team Jumbo-Visma's squad for the ZLM Tour consists of Jos van Emden, Gijs Leemreize, Timo Roosen, Tosh Van der Sande and Lennard Hofstede.