Frenchman Christophe Laporte won the Ghent-Wevelgem classic on Sunday ahead of his Belgian leader at Jumbo-Visma Wout Van Aert, who gave him victory after their long duo breakaway.
The two men, who did not compete in the sprint, finished hand in hand with almost two minutes ahead of the third, the Belgian Sep Vanmarcke who settled the sprint of the chasing group.
Laporte is the fourth Frenchman to win this Flemish classic after Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Philippe Gaumont in 1997. Second last year behind the Eritrean Biniam Girmay, Laporte, winner of a stage during the last Tour de France , signed between Ypres and Wevelgem, his greatest success in a one-day race.
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Already victorious at Wevelgem in 2021, winner of the E3 Classic on Friday at Harelbeke where he dominated the Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel and the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, Van Aert confirmed his favorite for the Tour of Flanders next weekend.
Contested in appalling weather conditions, in the wind and on wet roads, the race was played out on the ascent of Mount Kemmel 55 km from the line, the place chosen by Van Aert to place an already decisive acceleration that the only Laporte was able to follow.