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 is the new European Champion. The Frenchman of Team Jumbo-Visma took the gold medal in Drenthe, the Netherlands, after a nerve-wracking duel with teammates Wout van Aert and Olav Kooij.
In the closing stages of the race for national teams, Laporte broke away from a leading group, including his teammates. The Frenchman's gap was never more than 10 seconds, but Laporte managed to hold off his attacking teammates in the final metres. Laporte’s victory was his fifth of the season.
"I hope Nathan will be proud to see me riding in this jersey"
"It's still hard to believe”, he stammered after clinching the European title. "It was a gruelling race with a spectacular finish. I knew I had the best chance of winning when I got away. I don't think I could have beaten Wout and Olav in a sprint. I felt good all day, so I decided to go for it. I attacked on instinct. It is excellent to wear the European jersey for a year now. I want to dedicate this victory to my family and also to Nathan. I hope he'll be proud to see me riding in this jersey.”
"Christophe was just too strong”, Van Aert admitted. "For a moment, I thought we were going to catch him. He was riding pretty strong and still had some energy left. He knows how to choose the right moment. It shows that we are all strong in Team Jumbo-Visma.”
Kooij was not surprised to see his teammate beat him. "Christophe is a very strong rider. On days when he feels good, few riders can beat him. In the final, he rode very hard. He beat Wout and me on value and is the rightful winner. It is astounding that we have three riders from the team on the podium. It shows the strength of the team. Of course, I would have liked to take the title myself, but I am happy for Christophe.”