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Post-race press conferences with yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard and green jersey Wout van Aert saw journalists make probing inquiries about a Jumbo-Visma team that tore up the Tour and took home three classification victories and six stage wins.
“I know that some people don’t believe in our performance,” Laporte told l’Equipe. “In recent days, there has been a lot of criticism, it’s always the same, the rider who wins the Tour, no one ever believes it. Cycling is struggling to wash its image, it’s unfortunate.”
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Vingegaard pointed to Jumbo-Visma’s meticulous methods with tech, training and nutrition when asked if the world could believe the team was clean.
Van Aert took a more bullish approach during his time at the mic.
“I don’t even want to answer this question, it’s such a shit question. It comes back every time after somebody is winning in the Tour,” Van Aert said during a surly exchange Saturday.
Laporte joined Jumbo-Visma this winter and rapidly transformed from journeyman French hope to the nation’s sole Tour stage winner at this year’s race.
Eight years with Cofidis saw Laporte banging at the door of a big result before the past seven months with Jumbo-Visma saw the 29-year-old amass stages at Paris-Nice and the Tour and second-places at both the E3 Classic and Gent-Wevelgem.
“I hear what people say about me: ‘Laporte, he was not advancing, and now he is winning the Tour,'” he told l’Equipe.
“Even those who follow cycling don’t try to understand. Realizing that a team with such a budget, with riders of this level, and an organization around which the level of requirement is 100 percent explains a lot things.”