Today's Classic Brugge-De Panne has perhaps been overshadowed by the battle over at the Volta a Catalunya, but it is expected to deliver one of the most exciting races of the year. Besides the strong winds, the startlist features countless world-class sprinters, a field that perhaps may be the most luxurious of the entire season, and it includes Olav Kooij who anticipates an exciting race.
“It will not be a normal sprinter's race and bunch sprint today. It will be a tough race. To be able to sprint for victory, you first have to be in the race. It will be a tough race because of the wind. In my years as a youth rider, however, I have often ridden races like this," Kooij told CyclingPro.net at the startline today in Brugge.
PREVIEW | Classic Brugge-De Panne 2023 - THE best sprinter field of the year and strong winds to make for brilliant spectacle
The Dutchman has acquired a leading position within Jumbo-Visma, and as the classics block skip the race in order to focus on the cobbles, Kooij got himself a prime opportunity. After winning a stage at Paris-Nice where he looked mightily impressive and consistent, he is one of the big favourites for today's Belgian classic.
He will be at the helm of a strong Jumbo-Visma which is packed with rouleurs. He's joined on the road by Tosh van der Sande, Timo Roosen, Lennard Hofstede, Jos van Emden, Tim and Mick van Dijke.
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