Christophe Laporte has added the first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné to his list of honours. In the final metres, the Frenchman of Team Jumbo-Visma sprinted past breakaway rider Rune Herregodts to win the stage. Laporte’s win takes Team Jumbo-Visma’s season tally to 31.
Five riders took an early lead. Despite the unpredictable weather conditions, Dylan van Baarle and Attila Valter kept Team Jumbo-Visma in control. The final consisted of three local laps around Chambon-sur-Lac and featured a tricky hill with the Côte du Rocher de l’Aigle. Laporte and Jonas Vingegaard rounded the final section safely with their teammates, after which the Danish Tour winner set up a strong lead-out. Laporte sprinted away from everyone to take his third win of the season.
“It was a difficult and nervous stage”, Laporte said. “The last descent was dangerous, especially with Herregodts still in front. But the team kept Jonas and me in the lead. I got the chance today, and I have to thank my teammates for that. Jonas’ lead-out was fantastic. This is an excellent start to the week for the team.”
Vingegaard is using the Dauphiné in preparation for the Tour de France. “My form is improving, and I have prepared well for this race. Of course, I would like to win the general classification here, but the Tour remains the primary goal. We came to the Dauphiné to get a significant boost. In any case, I like to have a stage race in my legs before the Tour. This week will show if I am on the right track.”