Kooij just misses out on win in Betcity Elfstedenrace
Olav Kooij has sprinted to second place in the Betcity Elfstedenrace. The young Dutchman of Team Jumbo-Visma had to admit his superiority to Belgian rider Jasper Philipsen after an attractive race.
A lead group of seven riders broke away early in the race. Soon, the race completely broke open, partly due to the strong wind. A group including Team Jumbo-Visma riders Kooij, Edoardo Affini and Lars Boven caught up with the leaders. The group's advantage was relatively small but remained stable throughout the race. In the finishing straight, Kooij set up his sprint early. However, the 21-year-old could not prevent Philipsen from overtaking him in the final metres.
"It was a typical echelon race", said Kooij. "When the wind has free play, you can have a good race in the Netherlands. I think everyone in the first echelon enjoyed it. I immediately felt we had a good chance of success with this group. Then, it was a matter of continuing to work together. I was convinced we would stay at the front until the finish."
Kooij ended up in second place. "Maybe I could have timed my sprint a bit better. Of course, it's easy to say that after the race. Jasper passed me in the end. I think he deserved to win this race. Of course, you always want to win, but I can live with this result. We didn't have a bad race as a team. It was a good day on the bike."