"Second is certainly not bad" - Olav Kooij forced to settle for another near miss at Baloise Belgium Tour

Making his return to racing for the first time since abandoning the 2024 Giro d'Italia through illness, Olav Kooij has been close to victory in both of the first two sprints of the Baloise Belgium Tour, without yet being rewarded with a stage win.

"It was a nervous final. We were in a good position, but because the last metres were downhill, we ended up in the so called washing machine," reflected the Dutch sprint prodigy in a post-stage 3 reflection to the official Team Visma | Lease a Bike website. "In the sprint I had to make up a few positions and in the end I didn't get beyond second place. That's certainly not bad, but let's hope we can continue the line this weekend and get a win in the final stage."

After Tim Merlier took the win from the sprint on stage 2, with Kooij crossing the line in 3rd, the Dutchman was improved on stage 3 finishing 2nd as Jasper Philipsen showed some bright pre-Tour de France form and added another victory to his palmares.

Results: 2024 Baloise Belgium Tour stage 3

1 PHILIPSEN Jasper Alpecin-Deceuninck 20 04:06:20
2 KOOIJ Olav Team Visma | Lease a Bike 15 + 00
3 THIJSSEN Gerben Intermarché-Wanty 10 + 00
4 MERLIER Tim Soudal Quick-Step 5 + 00
5 DEGENKOLB John Team dsm-firmenich PostNL 3 + 00
6 TAMINIAUX Lionel Lotto Dstny + 00
8 DUPONT Timothy Tarteletto-Isorex + 00
9 STUYVEN Jasper Lidl-Trek + 00
10 PEDERSEN Nicklas TdT-Unibet + 00

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