Olav Kooij Edges Out Jonathan Milan to Win Stage 9 of 2024 Giro d'Italia

Olav Kooij of Team Visma wins Stage 9 of the 2024 Giro d'Italia in a nail-biting sprint finish, edging out points leader Jonathan Milan by a half wheel. Tadej Pogačar retains the pink jersey as overall race leader with a 2:40 gap over Daniel Felipe Martínez.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Olav Kooij Edges Out Jonathan Milan to Win Stage 9 of 2024 Giro d'Italia

Olav Kooij Edges Out Jonathan Milan to Win Stage 9 of 2024 Giro d'Italia

Dutch cyclist Olav Kooij of Team Visma | Lease a Bike secured a thrilling victory in Stage 9 of the 2024 Giro d'Italia on May 12, 2024. The 214km ride from Avezzano to Naples, Italy saw Kooij edge out points leader Jonathan Milan of Lidl Trek by a mere half a wheel in a nail-biting sprint finish.

The stage was divided into two parts, with the first 180km serving as an approach to the challenging finale. Andrea Pietrobon and Mirco Maestri of Polti Kometa formed the early breakaway but were only allowed a 2-minute advantage. Ewen Costiou of Arkea B B Hotels and Julian Alaphilippe of Soudal Quick Step also attempted to break away but were unsuccessful.

The final 3km were pan-flat, running eastwards along the Via Dohrn and Via Caracciolo, with a U-turn at a roundabout leading to the finish. Jhonathan Narváez of INEOS Grenadiers launched a bold solo attack on the climb before the finish, nearly taking the win. However, the sprinters caught him just 10 meters from the line, with Kooij emerging victorious.

After the stage, an elated Kooij said, "My first Grand Tour stage win was what I was looking for, but it's been a difficult and unlucky first week for our team and a hard stage today. We weren't sure to catch the breakaway riders, but the team remained committed. The guys put me in an ideal position. It's been tight, but I really wanted this first Grand Tour win, and I hope there are many more to come." makes

Race leader Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates, who helped lead out his teammate Juan Sebastián Molano to a third place finish, commented, "I haven't become a lead-out man, but Molano did a very good job to be at the front in the finale. He didn't get the win, but third is a good result, and I was happy to help a friend. I have a comfortable advantage before the first rest day. It's nice to relax in Napoli. We already have seen beautiful sceneries since the start of the Giro. Here, I'll add some pizza to make it pleasant for sure before we resume racing on Tuesday."

win marks his first Grand Tour stage win on his debut at the Giro d'Italia. The 22-year-old Dutch sprinter has already racked up an impressive 33 wins since turning pro with Team Visma in 2021. Tadej Pogačar retains the pink jersey as the overall race leader, with a comfortable 2:40 gap over Daniel Felipe Martínez of BORA hansgrohe. The riders will enjoy a well-deserved rest day in Naples on Monday before the race resumes on Tuesday with Stage 10.

Key Takeaways

  • Olav Kooij wins Stage 9 of 2024 Giro d'Italia in Naples.
  • Kooij edges out Jonathan Milan by half a wheel in sprint finish.
  • Race leader Tadej Pogačar retains pink jersey with 2:40 gap.
  • Kooij's win marks his first Grand Tour stage victory.
  • Riders enjoy rest day in Naples before Stage 10 on Tuesday.