‘It’s always the same, the rider who wins the Tour, no one believes it’: Christophe Laporte says nothing changes with suspicion in cycling

Jumbo-Visma's Laporte won stage 19 at the Tour de France but says some are still quick to doubt his progress

Christophe Laporte
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) has spoken out against the cynicism and probing questions aimed at the Dutch team after their Tour de France success. 

Jumbo-Visma won six stages at the Tour de France 2022 as well as the yellow, green and polka-dot jerseys. Two of those stages came from overall winner Jonas Vingegaard who also took home the polka-dot jersey as the best climber at the race. Three came from the phenomenal Wout Van Aert, and Laporte himself took home his share of the spoils with an excellent stage win on the final road stage of this year's race. 

In an interview with L’Equipe, Laporte explained that cycling is struggling to rid itself of its murky past. 

Laporte said: “I know that some people don’t believe in our performance, in recent days there has been a lot of criticism, it’s always the same, the rider who wins the Tour, no one ever believes it. Cycling is struggling to wash its image, it’s unfortunate.” 

The 29-year-old French rider joined Jumbo-Visma from Cofidis in time for the 2022 season. Since then, Laporte has quickly become one of the  team's most valuable riders, regularly turning in outstanding performances. He was part of the Dutch team’s early-season success at Paris-Nice, winning the opening stage in a superb clean sweep of the podium. Primož Roglič won the race overall, but Laporte really cemented his selection for the Tour de France after that result. 

During his time at Cofidis, the Frenchman was threatening a big result and his consistent performances began turning heads at some of the sport's top teams. However Laporte feels that after eight years with Cofidis, some critics are quick to doubt his impressive 2022 form with his new team. 

Christophe Laporte at the 2022 Tour de France

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Laporte added: “I hear what people say about me - Laporte, he was not advancing, and now he is winning at the Tour. Even those who follow cycling don’t try to understand. Realising that a team with such a budget, with riders of this level, and an organisation around which the level of requirement is 100 percent explains a lot of things.” 

Laporte’s teammates, Van Aert and Jonas Vingegaard, did not take kindly to the questions around trustworthiness aimed at them over the course of last weekend. Speaking at a press conference after the final time-trial in Rocamadour, the Danish rider defended his team and their record at the race insisting that Jumbo-Visma is “totally clean”

Meanwhile, Van Aert reacted in a more outspoken manner. When asked about the team’s record, the Belgian was reluctant to enter any conversation on doping.

“It’s such a s**t question, it comes back every year. Because we’re performing at this level, we have to defend ourselves, I don’t get it,” said Van Aert.

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Tom Thewlis

Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. He has reported from a wide range of races and events including the Tour de France and World Championships.