Jumbo-Visma's Laporte wins Dwars door Vlaanderen cycling race
Christophe Laporte won the Dwars door Vlaanderen cycling race in Belgium on Wednesday.
WAREGEM (Belgium) (AFP) – Jumbo-Visma's Frenchman Christophe Laporte won the Dwars door Vlaanderen cycling race in Belgium on Wednesday.
Laporte pipped Movistar's Oier Lazkano in second place and EF Education-EasyPost's Neilson Powless in third after 183.7km (114 miles) of racing, for victory in the race whose title translates as Across Flanders.
The event is seen as a warm-up to Sunday's Tour of Flanders, a part of cycling's classics programme, the sport's most prestigious one-day events.
Laporte, 30, backed up last Sunday's win at the Gent-Wevelgem after being part of a breakaway with 4km to go in northwestern Belgium.
The proceedings included 11 climbs and eight cobbled sections near the French border.
"A difficult day but a great day. All the team were great. I'm very happy to win again," Laporte said.
"I was strong on the climbs and made the selections there. It was a good collaboration in the group," he added.
Spaniard Lazkano, 23, claimed the best result of his career, as Jumbo secured a third classic victory in less than a week thanks to Laporte's exploits.
"I had always seen on my TV at home that these are beautiful races," Lazkano said.
"I'm so happy with my second place here. It's amazing.
"Jumbo are having an amazing classics season and playing their cards very well," the Basque rider added.
American Powless repeated his feat from Milan-San Remo earlier this month and was confident of his chances at the weekend despite the presence of double Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.
"I think I'm still a dark horse for Flanders," Powless said.
"There's going to be a much stronger field there so I look forward to the challenge and I hope I can have the same legs I had today on Sunday.
"If I can, then I'm quite sure I can be in the mix," the 26-year-old added.