With a lot of SEG Racing Academy’s bigger names performing so well this season, Marten Kooistra has slipped a little under the radar this year, but the Dutchman has quietly assembled a string of very strong results, especially in one-day races and stage races that resemble the Classics.
Just before he began one of those such stage races, the Olympia’s Tour, U23 Cycling Zone caught up with the strong Dutchman. During the race, Marten has been on fire, always near the front and on this morning’s stage, he took the win and the leader’s jersey.
“I think my 2018 season is going well, I’m happy with it. So far, I had some nice results like third in Eschborn-Frankfurt U23, second at the Dutch Nationals U23 behind my teammate Julius van den Berg, as well as a 3rd place at the European Championships U23 scratch race on the track. It’s not the end of the season yet, there are a lot of nice races coming and I hope I also can show myself in these races.”
As clearly shown in his results, the man who was 8th overall in last year’s Olympia’s Tour specializes in one-day races. Like his compatriots, the more terrible the weather, the more Marten likes to race.
“I think a one-day classics rider. I like to ride in bad weather and hard races.”
4th in the recent Slag om Norg one-day race in the Netherlands, a race his former teammate Fabio Jakobsen won two seasons ago, proves exactly why despite having a star-studded roster, SEG Racing Academy has given Marten more leadership chances this year. he spoke a little about the extra responsibility he has taken on in 2018 in terms of leading the team.
“I had some good one-day results and it’s really nice to get those opportunities to let you lead in some big races. It’s good for your confidence, as you can see the hard work you put into the training is coming out in the races and it motivates me to train even harder and get some more good results.”
All season long, the team has been through a real purple patch, winning almost all of the time and succeeding in turning quite a few riders pro for 2019, building on the team’s key ethos of talent development. Marten spoke about what it has been like racing for a team riding the crest of a wave the size of the one SEG Racing Academy has been on this season.
“It’s going really good with the team. It’s great to see everyone is so motivated to win races, it’s really good for the morale of the team and you can see it in the results of all the riders. Of course, it’s really nice to see a lot of guys making the step to the pro level, it just motivates me as well to get better results so I can also make that step.”
Marten Kooistra will have an interesting 2019 as he will stay with the Dutch Continental team and will aim high in one-day races. The team has already recruited well for the upcoming season and Marten will be a key cog in the team’s roster.
Going pro it’s everyone’s dream. But one more year at the Academy will certainly help my development and allow me to become an even better rider for the coming years.”
And like all good Classics riders, it is the Queen of the Classics which captures Marten’s heart most, and he picked this as the pro race he desires to win the most.
“Paris-Roubaix, because for me it’s one of the nicest races on the calendar.”
Marten Kooistra follows the footsteps of Fabio Jakobsen and Julius van den Berg, as part of the new generation of Dutch one-day classics talents. Watch out for his results, as there may be a new Dutch darling pounding the pave of Northern France really soon.
U23 Cycling Zone wishes to thank Marten for taking part in this interview, and we wish him all the best for the future. We also wish to thank David Soteras at SEG Racing Academy for setting the interview up. You can follow Marten on Twitter at @martenKooistraa.