Dutch rider Olav Kooij took the 2nd WorldTour win of his young career in a fast finish. Stuck behind Mads Pedersen initially, Kooij was able to use the draft to come round and pass the Danish former-world champion. Pedersen, who won Stage 2 of this year’s Paris-Nice finished 2nd.
His Jumbo-Visma team looked set for a good race after winning the team time trial on Stage 3 to put their leader, Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard in prime position going into the summit finish on Stage 4. However, it wasn’t to be as rival Tadej Pogačar took a commanding stage victory. Kooij himself was 2nd on Stage 2, so today’s win after coming so close is another boon for the team.
Today’s stage was raced like a proper sprint stage, with no drama throughout the day bar the intermediate sprint that saw David Gaudu claim some time back on the race lead.
Ben Swift attacked under the flamme rouge, trying to steal a march on the sprinter teams but they reeled the Ineos Grenadiers rider back in. Pedersen launched his sprint early, which gave Kooij the opportunity to finish faster on the line.
“It’s really nice to beat the best sprinters in the world. I won a few races last year but this is the nicest so far. I was a bit far back under the flamme rouge. And then I took the left side of the roundabout, that, I think, was a good choice. I was in the wheel of Pedersen and this time I was able to get out of his wheel. Coming close and coming second is not bad but it’s the victories that count.”Olav Kooij
2023 Paris Nice Stage 4 result
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