Frenchman Christophe Laporte (28) and Belgian Tosh Van der Sande (30) will strengthen Team Jumbo-Visma for the next two seasons. The spring classics will be one of their main objectives.
Laporte does not hide his ambitions. “I am very happy and proud that I will be riding for Team Jumbo-Visma the next two seasons. It is one of the best teams in the world and I am confident that I can grow to my best level in this team. It is certainly a big change, because I rode eight years for Cofidis in France. Team Jumbo-Visma is a different team, with new faces among staff and riders. I am going to discover a new culture. It is an important step in my career and I am eager to start this project. The Flemish classics will be one of my main goals next season. I love those races. There is a nice team formed around Wout and I will do my best to win together. Let this adventure begin!”, the French rider said.
Also Van der Sande is looking forward to defend the black and yellow colours. “I was flattered by the interest. I rode for Lotto for ten years, so it will be a serious change. If a team like Team Jumbo-Visma contacts you, you should not hesitate for long. It is the best team, or one of the best teams in the world. The professionalism and the staff really appeal to me. I am very happy to join this team and I am really looking forward to it. Hopefully I can work my way into the classic core to support Wout van Aert. I think my added value lies in my composure in stress situations, positioning myself and riding up front with the leader. Those are my main assets. In addition, I want to try to become an even better cyclist at Team Jumbo-Visma. Given the framework, I believe I can certainly make progress in the coming years.”
Merijn Zeeman, sportive director of Team Jumbo-Visma, shines his light on both reinforcements. “Christophe was very strong last spring. We are also curious to see how far he can get with our approach, in terms of training, nutrition, aerodynamics… what else is in it for him. In any case, he is a very important reinforcement for Wout. He also has a good time trial. For him it is also a nice challenge to try something new and maybe tackle different issues at a somewhat higher level. We are looking forward to that. It was important to get reinforcements around Wout. With Christophe we have attracted a very good rider for this.”
“When I look at Tosh, he has also stood out this year. He has really developed himself as a rider. Apart from the fact that he was strong, he is also a very clever rider, he is very good in positioning and he has a lot of experience. We need that in our classics team. If he has the same form as this year, he will be with Wout in the finals and we need that too. The same counts for the sprint train around Dylan Groenewegen. With Caleb Ewan Tosh did a very good job. We are happy we were able to recruit him and that he’ll bring that experience and expertise.”
George Bennett (UAE), Christoph Pfingsten and Antwan Tolhoek went looking for another team.