Christophe Laporte wins European title with Jumbo-Visma riders going 1-2-3

A tug of war between national and trade team motivations saw loyal Laporte hold off teammates and national rivals Van Aert and Kooij.

Christophe Laporte (France / Jumbo-Visma) wins the 2023 European Championship road race. Photo: © Cor Vos

Kit Nicholson
by Kit Nicholson 24.09.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Christophe Laporte was in an attacking mood in the last 30 km of the European Championship road race, and he finally made it stick with a long-range move 12 km from the finish, leaving behind an elite selection he’d had a lead role in creating. The gap went from 15 seconds back down to below ten in the last few kilometres, and with Laporte’s lead under threat, Wout van Aert and Olav Kooij charged up the Col du Vam behind him. Already sprinting hard, Van Aert tagged his teammate 150 metres from the line, but Laporte was not yet done. He looked across and kicked again, taking advantage of the sweeping bend and the doubt in his teammates’ minds to surge forward to victory.

Van Aert took second and Kooij third to seal a Jumbo-Visma podium sweep – another one – at the end of a thrilling and aggressive race on the manmade Vamberg/Col du Vam.

The last 150 metres were quite something!
26 km to go, Laporte makes his first move from the back of the group formed by Ganna’s acceleration up the Col du Vam.
There’ll be talk of gifts, but there’s absolutely no doubt Laporte worked for that victory.

Brief results:

Brief analysis

De Lie slots onto the back as Jumbo-Visma chases Jumbo-Visma chasing Jumbo-Visma up the final ascent of the Col du Vam.

Quote of the day

Laporte made the race his own in the face of serious competition, some of them riders he knows very well.

“”It’s hard to believe. It was a crazy final. I felt good and I thought, ‘Ok, if I go to the sprint with guys like De Lie and Van Aert it will be hard to win. I tried and it worked.”

Laporte said post-race, still catching his breath

Social highlights

No arguments: it was a great race with a brilliant finale.

Somehow, these dominant teams – like the SD Worx riders during Saturday’s elite women’s race – keep creating exciting races despite their supremacy over, well, everyone else. But it’s nice that we get to hear the Marseillaise rather than whatever anthem Jumbo-Visma might come up with as the relative underdog French team beats Belgium and the Netherlands.

Wout van Aert will be delighted for his teammate and loyal domestique, but it is yet another silver medal for the Belgian.

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