Christophe Laporte and Wout van Aert did an outstanding performance to take Gent-Wevelgem. The Team Jumbo-Visma duo rode away from the peloton with more than fifty kilometres to go, and were never seen again. In the streets of Wevelgem, the two crossed the line together, with Laporte being the first to cross the finish line.
Laporte and Nathan Van Hooydonck rode together in a strong breakaway group of escapees at more than seventy kilometres from the finish. After the group of around twenty riders was reabsorbed by the peloton, Van Aert and Laporte took off together on the Kemmelberg.
The duo rode together and built a one minute lead in no time. The group behind tried to close them down, but they simply had no measure on the Belgian-French tandem. Instead of the peloton getting closer, the lead only increased.
It is Laporte’s first win of the season. This brings the Team Jumbo-Visma counter to nineteen victories in 2023. It is the first time in the history of cycling that a rider from the same team has won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, E3 Saxo Classic and Gent-Wevelgem in the same season.
Winner Laporte was proud of himself and the team afterwards. “I can now say that I have won a great classic. Without detracting from any of my previous victories, this is one of the best victories of my career. I was already close last year, but I finally did it now. I am genuinely proud, also of the excellent work of the entire team. My gratitude to Wout is so great. That such a great champion puts his hand on his heart and grants me the victory is indescribable. Maybe it looked easy to the outside world, but I can say that we really suffered today. The circumstances didn’t make it easy, but it’s all worth it. This is a nice prelude to next week, hopefully we can take our form to the next races”, Laporte looked ahead.
“This is truly unbelievable”, Van Aert could hardly comprehend his team’s feat. “This victory is very much due to Christophe. He is such a great team player that it was an easy decision for me. He is not only a colleague, but also a very good friend. I have not forgotten all that he has done for me in the past. A few days ago we were talking about last year’s E3 Saxo Classic when we also crossed the finish line together. We said something so unique would probably never happen again. Now we’re doing it again. It is hard to believe that we succeeded in this strong field. Everything came together today, with our plan unfolding perfectly. I will remember the moment we crossed the line together for a long time. To me, this feels like a collective victory.”