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Christophe Laporte capped an outstanding 2022 season with victory Tuesday at Binche-Chimay-Binche across the hills of Flanders.
On Tuesday, the Frenchman on Jumbo-Visma rode away from a lead bunch with about 10km to go, taking Rasmus Tiller of Norway with him. The pair opened up a 15-second gap, and Laporte pulled clear on the final cobbled sectors to cross the finish line all alone in the photo.
“I expected to finish the race in a reduced bunch sprint, but things went differently than expected,” Laporte said. “It was a challenging race that saw some early attacks. I got to the front with Rasmus and in the final, we both had a hard time. I gave everything I had till the finish line with what little energy I had left. Fortunately, it was enough for victory.”
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The victory is the fifth this year for Laporte, who puts end to his season Sunday at Paris-Tours.
The 29-year-old Frenchman blossomed in 2022 with his transfer from Cofidis, where he raced from 2014-21, to Jumbo-Visma.
The Dutch outfit tapped Laporte to help out with its classics program, but he turned out to be the team’s most successful recruitment of the year.
Laporte hit the spring season swinging for the fences, marked by a big win at Paris-Nice to herald his arrival. He delivered in the classics with a string of solid rides, with second at E3 Saxo Bank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem, and ninth at Tour of Flanders.
“It’s very nice to take another victory in this successful year,” Laporte said. “I never expected the season to turn out so successful.”
In July, Laporte punched his ticket to the Tour de France and provided key support for Jonas Vingegaard and Wout van Aert, who won the yellow and green jerseys, respectively.
Laporte won stage 19 into Cahors as a personal bonus. He later won a stage and the overall at the Tour of Denmark, and then hit the podium with silver in Wollongong.
“The legs were already good at the worlds and they were strong today as well,” Laporte said. “The team was solid and worked hard. I am happy that I was able to finish it off.”
Laporte will be among the pre-race favorite for Paris-Tours on Sunday.
A well-deserved price! 💪 pic.twitter.com/tLnmEnPB0H
— Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) October 4, 2022