Christophe Laporte could have been a favourite for the race in the scenario of a sprint, and sure enough he had the luck to be in contention for a medal. The Jumbo-Visma rider represented France and ended up being their best card to fight for a top result.
“The plan for France was to have a hard race from the start and that’s what we did," Laporte said after the finish. "Julian [Alaphilippe] was not sure of his shape today. So we didn’t really have a single plan, I was here for the sprint if it came back and Benoit [Cosnefroy], Valentin Madouas and Julian were to follow on the climbs.”
The French were extremely active from early on, attacking with some riders and having representation both in the breakaway and the decisive attack. “We had three good guys there,” Laporte added. “they were not good enough to follow Remco but I don’t think too many guys were good enough to follow him."
With that, France also took up some of the work in the peloton, partially thinking of a sprint from Laporte who hung on throughout the 266 kilometers and 4000 meters of climbing in the peloton. "Everything was not perfect, but I think we can be happy with our result today," he added, having later won the sprint for second place, and into a silver medal.
“With three kilometres to go, we saw some groups ahead of us, but didn’t know who they were," he said, replicating the words of Michael Matthews who also didn't know for what position they were sprinting. "We caught them I think at five hundred metres to go and I didn't know anything, just I went full to the line.
"At the end they told me I was silver. It was very strange in the last two laps and finally it was a nice place to be second. I have won some very good races this season, but I can be happy with this medal, too," he concluded. After a strong reason that included wins at the Tour de France, Paris-Nice, GC at the Tour of Denmark and other strong results in the cobbled classics despite riding in support of Wout van Aert, Laporte is safely one of the main hitters of the season.