Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) won the 2023 Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl race Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) won the Heylen Vastgoed Heistse Pijl race in northern Flanders after a perfectly executed lead out from his Jumbo-Visma teammates.
The 21-year-old Dutch sprinter beat Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Robbe Ghys (Alpecin-Deceuninck) after a late crash split the peloton and took out a number of sprinters.
A crash with 2.2km to go saw a number of riders go down, with Tim Merlier (Soudal-QuickStep) left needing a bike change and so with no chance of contesting the sprint.
Kooij got a long and high-speed leadout from teammate Tim Van Dijke and only needed to sprint along the barriers and hold off a late charge from Meeus. It was Jumbo-Visma’s 30th victory of the season.
"I am happy to add this race to my palmares," 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 198.7km race saw an early break go away before the decisive local laps, with the challenging Heistseberg climb on cobbles just a few kilometres before the line.Jumbo-Visma was one of several teams to lead the chase and then they took over on the front from Soudal-QuickStep to control the sprint. Jos van Emden was at the front of the peloton […]