On a cloud, Christophe Laporte approaches Hell of the North, inflated to block

He sees life in yellow. After eight years with Cofidis, Christophe Laporte has had the best start to the season of his career jumbo visma, the team has been trending in recent years. Aimed at Paris-Roubaix, Sunday April 17th, alongside Wout Van Aert, the Varois hopes to shine again and, why not, do better than his sixth place last year in Hell of the North.

“We did a three-week high-altitude course, which I had never done in my career. We optimize all aspects of equipment and training.”, declared Christophe Laporte after claiming his first victory on the UCI circuit on March 6th at Paris-Nice. The Frenchman seems to have changed since swapping the red tunic for the yellow and black ensemble.

His win at Mantes-la-Ville is the best example. Known for his skills as a sprinter, he eventually won the cup as a puncher. In a bump that seemed harmless given the qualities of the riders present in the peloton, the Seyne-sur-Mer native had blown up all but his teammates Wout Van Aert and Primoz Roglic. A coup noticed by his two leaders, who let him cross the line first to take the yellow jersey.

end of February, pThe first Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne exit had already been noticed. Among the escapees, Christophe Laporte had been caught a few hectometers from the finish line before finishing eighth. A few weeks later he surprised everyone at the E3 Grand Prix. “Wout went full throttle and I was the only one who could follow him”, he summed up upon arrival. In his daily guide’s wheel, the Varois had finished second in this classic before repeating the following week at Gent-Wevelgem, this time beaten by sensation Biniam Girmay.

This development did not surprise a shrewd observer, Patric Lefévère, boss of the Quick-Step, who is generally so impressive on the classics: “You only have to look at his placings at these races over the last few years to understand that he could reach that level one day,” he explained The team last March. And to continue: “It is not by accident that we finished second in A Travers les Flandres (2012) and fourth in Gand-Wevelgem (2018).

At Paris-Roubaix, Christophe Laporte will be one of the patrons of the Dutch formation. Wout Van Aert, who is recovering from a Covid-19 infection, will be present but he himself has indicated he will take on the role of teammate. So Laporte should be able to play his card in Hell of the North. His burst of speed and agility on the cobbles, combined with his banging start to the season, make him one of the natural favorites to raise your arms at the Vélodrome de Roubaix. Sixth last year, the Habs who never fail to surprise want to do better but the competition will be tough and you will need to take the hits. That’s a good thing, because since the start of the season Christophe Laporte has shown he has a nose on numerous occasions.

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