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Laporte and Van der Sande sign with Jumbo-Visma

French Christophe Laporte of Cofidis celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the Circuit de Wallonie one day cycling race 1942 km from Charleroi to Charleroi Thursday 13 May 2021 the third stage out of 9 of the Bingoal cycling cup BELGA PHOTO DAVID STOCKMAN Photo by DAVID STOCKMANBELGA MAGAFP via Getty Images
Christophe Laporte has been one of Cofidis' leading lights in recent years (Image credit: Getty Images)

Jumbo-Visma have signed Christophe Laporte and Tosh Van der Sande in a bid to improve their Classics contingent in 2022.

Laporte, 26, joins after spending all of his career at Cofidis since turning professional in 2014. Van der Sande, 30, has been with Lotto Soudal ever since he moved into the pro ranks in 2012. 

Laporte, well known for his fast finish, will provide cover for Wout van Aert in the Spring Classics, but will also hope to develop his own opportunities on the Dutch team.

"I am very happy and proud that I will be riding for Team Jumbo-Visma the next two seasons. It is one of the best teams in the world and I am confident that I can grow to my best level in this team," Laporte said in a press release issued by his team.

"It is certainly a big change, because I rode eight years for Cofidis in France. Team Jumbo-Visma is a different team, with new faces among staff and riders. I am going to discover a new culture. It is an important step in my career and I am eager to start this project. The Flemish classics will be one of my main goals next season. I love those races. There is a nice team formed around Wout and I will do my best to win together. Let this adventure begin," he added.

Van der Sande will be relied upon as an out-and-out domestique in the Classics, bringing with him a decade of experience from Belgium. He will also link up as part of Dylan Groenewegen’s sprint train.

"I was flattered by the interest. I rode for Lotto for 10 years, so it will be a serious change. If a team like Team Jumbo-Visma contacts you, you should not hesitate for long. It is the best team, or one of the best teams in the world. The professionalism and the staff really appeal to me. I am very happy to join this team and I am really looking forward to it," Van der Sande said.

"Hopefully I can work my way into the Classics core to support Wout van Aert. I think my added value lies in my composure in stress situations, positioning myself and riding up front with the leader. Those are my main assets. In addition, I want to try to become an even better cyclist at Team Jumbo-Visma. Given the framework, I believe I can certainly make progress in the coming years."

Team director Merijn Zeeman praised both riders and their qualities, emphasising that they will be on hand to support Van Aert in the spring Classics but also develop individually.

"Christophe was very strong last spring," Zeeman said. "We are also curious to see how far he can get with our approach, in terms of training, nutrition, aerodynamics... what else is in it for him. 

"In any case, he is a very important reinforcement for Wout. He also has a good time trial. For him it is also a nice challenge to try something new and maybe tackle different issues at a somewhat higher level. We are looking forward to that. It was important to get reinforcements around Wout. With Christophe we have attracted a very good rider for this.

"When I look at Tosh, he has also stood out this year. He has really developed himself as a rider. Apart from the fact that he was strong, he is also a very clever rider, he is very good in positioning and he has a lot of experience. We need that in our Classics team. If he has the same form as this year, he will be with Wout in the finals and we need that too. The same counts for the sprint train around Dylan Groenewegen. With Caleb Ewan, Tosh did a very good job. We are happy we were able to recruit him and that he’ll bring that experience and expertise."

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