ZLM Tour: Olav Kooij wins final stage and the overall

Olav Kooij of Jumbo-Visma wins bunch sprint
Olav Kooij of Jumbo-Visma wins bunch sprint (Image credit: Getty Images)

Race leader Olav Kooij of Jumbo-Visma sprinted to victory on the fourth and final stage of the ZLM Tour and won the race overall. Led by two teammates through the final corner, Kooij crossed the line ahead of Sam Welsford (DSM) and Jakub Mareczko (Alpecin-Deceuninck).

Even though Kooij had to change his bike twice in the stage, he successfully defended his lead to win his first stage at the four-day race, after claiming the leader’s jersey on stage 2 by finishing second to Mareczko.

"We came with three guys through the last corner, then it was full gas for one last pull and then it was up to me," Kooij said.

“We came with the goal to win a stage and the GC and we had to wait until today [to win a stage]. It’s still sprinting and sometimes things don’t go to plan."

Kooij won the ZLM Tour for the second year in a row, finishing with a 13-second lead on Welsford. Nils Eekhoff (DSM) dropped one spot to third overall, a further two seconds back.

After heading from the start in Oosterhout for two intermediate sprints, the flat 158.5km route returned to Oosterhout for three laps of the 13km finishing circuit.

Three riders - Léo Bouvier (Bike Aid), Guillaume Visser (BEAT) and Sam Gademan (Allinq) - attacked in the first 30 kilometres to form the breakaway but they were given a short leash by the peloton. Their lead never went above the two-minute mark, with the inevitable bunch sprint looming at the end of the day.

The trio was reeled back in by the peloton with 25km to go, giving way to multiple short-lived counterattacks. First, it was Vinzent Dorn (Bike Aid) that tried his luck, followed by Tim Bierkens (Allinq) and finally Rick Ottema (Allinq) but the solo riders were very quickly swallowed by the charging peloton. 

The trains organized in the final kilometres with Jumbo-Visma, Alpecin-Deceuninck and Team DSM fighting to control the front. In the end, Jumbo-Visma managed to launch Kooij to victory.


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Lyne Lamoureux

Lyne has been involved in professional cycling for more than 15 years in both news reporting and sports marketing. She founded Podium Insight in 2008, quickly becoming a trusted source for news of the North American professional cycling world. She was the first to successfully use social media to consistently provide timely and live race updates for all fans. She is proud to have covered men's and women's news equally during her tenure at the helm of the site. Her writing has appeared on Cyclingnews and other news sites. 

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