"We rode attractively, as we wanted to" - Christophe Laporte unable to win on first outing in European Champions jersey at Famenne Ardenne Classic

In his first outing as European Champion, Christophe Laporte was unable to claim victory at the Famenne Ardenne Classic, instead having to settle as Arnaud De Lie took a spectacular victory.

"We rode attractively, as we wanted to," reflected Jumbo-Visma Sports Director Arthur Van Dongen post-race. "We wanted to make a difference by anticipating the many breakaways. We did that well. While we did not win today, I am proud of how our riders carried out our plans. We could have chosen to do nothing and wait for the sprint, but we wanted to give as many riders as possible the chance to do something.”

Sadly for Laporte and the rest of the riders in the peloton, De Lie was simply unstoppable in the final sprint. Even a broken cleat that forced the Belgian to ride the final 50m one-legged was not enough to deny De Lie the victory.

Van Dongen was also keen to mention the performances of Development Team riders Colby Simmons and Per Strand Hagenes. "With Loe (van Belle) dropping out, Colby was called up at the last minute”, Van Dongen said. "He rode well today. Per also proved that he is very good at this type of course and can compete with the best here. I am happy with our team's performance today.”

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