Glorious return to cyclocross for Van Empel
Fem van Empel has marked her return to the field with a victory. The 21-year-old...
Christophe Laporte has finished sixth at Paris-Tours. The European champion was the fastest in a peloton that misjudged five escapees. The victory went to Riley Sheehan. The French autumn classic was the last professional race for 38-year-old Jos van Emden.
Paris-Tours is traditionally held at the beginning of October. Between Chartres and Tours, the peloton faced 214 kilometres of short climbs and dirt roads. Team Jumbo-Visma controlled the peloton, which saw a lead group for a long time. With 25 kilometres to go, Laporte suffered a puncture just as four riders crossed to join a survivor of the early breakaway. The five attackers eventually managed to stay out of the grip of the reduced peloton.
"We were good, and at the beginning, we had enough Jumbo-Visma riders in the peloton to do some work”, Laporte said. "In the final, Dylan (van Baarle) did a fantastic job chasing the leaders, but we didn't get enough support from the others. It's unfortunate, but that's part of cycling. It's good for the riders who manage to stay in front. It was also nice to show off my European champion's jersey to the French fans today.”
"Time for a holiday and a beer"
Sports director Arthur van Dongen: "Everything was under control until the gravel roads. Then, we lost a few riders, which was to our disadvantage. Edoardo (Affini) and Per (Strand Hagenes) closed some significant gaps, but only Dylan and Christophe were left for the final. In that final, we were a rider short, and the fact that Christophe had a puncture at a crucial moment meant we lost the race. Today, we have finished a fantastic season.”
After seventeen seasons with Team Jumbo-Visma, Jos van Emden rode his last professional race after a fantastic career. From 2024, he will be sports director of Team Jumbo-Visma Women. "It's over”, Van Emden said. "I don't know exactly what I'm feeling, but somehow it is a relief. I will miss the battles for victory and the many moments with my teammates. A busy preparation period for next season as a sports director lies ahead. But first, it's time for a holiday and a beer.”