Kooij adds Heistse Pijl to list of honours after fine team play

Kooij adds Heistse Pijl to list of honours after fine team play

Olav Kooij has won the Heistse Pijl. The 21-year-old sprinter of Team Jumbo-Visma took the lead off Tim van Dijke's wheel in the finishing straight. It is Kooij's fourth victory of the season.

The almost two-hundred-kilometre race was marked by the local laps at the end, with the challenging summit of the Heistse Berg a few kilometres before the line. With an average speed of 46 kilometres per hour, the pace was high throughout the race. About six riders broke away in the race's early stages, but thanks in part to the control of Team Jumbo-Visma, the six never came close.

With one lap to go, Team Jumbo-Visma stepped up their ambitions. Initially, Jos van Emden was at the front of the peloton for several kilometres. Later, Tosh Van der Sande and Van Dijke took over from him and effortlessly guided Kooij over the final climb of the Heistse Berg. The rider of the Dutch town of Numansdorp took advantage of Van Dijke’s placement to easily secure Jumbo-Visma's 30th victory of the season.

"I am happy to add this race to my list of honours”, Kooij said. "We took our responsibility on the road and took control. We seized the initiative quite early in the final. The guys were so strong we didn't have to give up that initiative. It's nice to see everyone in good shape along the way, but it's even nicer to reward today's good teamwork with a win.”

"The guys were so strong"

Olav Kooij

Kooij knew which moments in the race would be decisive. "On this course, the beginning is always the most nervous part of the day. Everyone knows it's crucial in this race. Once you get to the top of the Heisterberg, you get to the finish fast. The key is to position yourself well at the bottom of the climb, then go full steam ahead, take a moment to recover, and then start sprinting to the finish at the right moment. Those facets were all right for us today. Then it's all about giving everything. Jordi Meeus was on my wheel in the last metre. Although I could feel him getting closer, I was able to maintain my lead. It was a good day for the team.”

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