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Jumbo-Visma won its fourth Belgian classic of 2023 in style Sunday.
Christophe Laporte and Wout van Aert went one-two in Gent-Wevelgem to continue the team’s streak after Dylan Van Baarle and Tiesj Benoot doubled up at the “Opening Weekend” last month.
Here’s what the Dutch crew said of its early season tear as Tour of Flanders arrives on the near-horizon.
Christophe Laporte (1st)
On victory ahead of Van Aert:
For a guy like me, that is a dream. Wout asked me at 10km to go if I wanted to win. He could of course guess the answer. It is unbelievable. A one-two punch hardly ever happens in a career, Wout has already succeeded a few times.
On the pair’s long ride to the final:
I struggled in his wheel, he was the better. 50km with two riders is a long time, especially in this weather. I am very tired, but very happy. Wout is a great champion, I’m happy to be able to ride for someone like that.”
Nathan Van Hooydonck (in the chasing bunch)
Jumbo-Visma workhorse and second-tier leader on the team’s strength:
Jumbo-Visma is not an NBA All-Star team, we are Jumbo-Visma. We had a great plan and it got even better today. We wanted to start early to make it difficult for the sprinter teams. It was a really tough race. Horrible, actually. I was really cold today.
On Jumbo-Visma dominance and the Tour of Flanders:
Winning together, we show it again. I am very proud to be part of this team. We are ready for next week and have one of the top favorites in our team, but there are other favorites next to us. We will not have to carry the whole race.
Wout van Aert (2nd)
On their repeat of Van Aert leading a one-two with Laporte last year at the E3 Saxo Classic:
It’s incredible, only the other day we thought about E3 from 2022 and thought it would never happen again. Now only a few days later we do exactly the same thing. It’s impossible to think it’s possible at this high level, but it’s all the hard work coming together.
On why he gave Laporte the win:
We just rode full until the last 10-8km from the finish, when we were sure we had victory. I won Friday and my eyes are on the coming races. Christophe had a difficult start to the season with sickness and he’s such a team player that it was an easy decision [to give him the victory].