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Tour of California - KOM Winner Christophe Laurent
 
By Staff
Date: 2/27/2007
Tour of California - KOM Winner Christophe Laurent
 

Amgen Tour of California - KOM Winner Christophe Laurent
A closer look at the winner of the California Travel and Tourism King of the Mountains Jersey Christophe Laurent from
Crédit Agricole.

by Lyne Lamoureux


Christophe Laurent with California Travel and Tourism King of the Mountains Jersey
Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux

Climbing is nothing new to Christophe Laurent as he won the best climber's jersey at the Tour de l'Avenir in 2002, In last year's Paris-Nice, Christophe held the mountains jersey for 3 stages and lost it the last day. This is Christophe's first year with Crédit Agricole and riding for a ProTour team.

Christophe announced his intention to compete in the King of the Mountains competition in stage 2 when he not participated in an breakaway with 2 other riders. Christophe took 2 KOM climbs and sprints during the 80 miles break and also received the most aggressive jersey for the stage. Christophe pulled on the ‘sunshine jersey’ after winning two of the three KOMs during stage 4 when he joined a 7 men breakaway that stayed clear until about ten miles from the finish.


Christophe Laurent receiving the KOM jersey after stage 4
Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux


Christophe Laurent answering questions at the press conference after stage 4
Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux


Christophe Laurent down the ramp for stage 5 Individual Time Trial
Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux

I caught up with Christophe at the start of stage 6 to understand his strategy to defend the jersey. "There are 2 possibilities, either I try to be in a breakaway which is not easy given the efforts that I've put in since the start of the week. Or the other solution is that a breakaway goes with riders that do not have KOM points. The second solution would be ideal. There are 5 riders that can still beat me, and I will watch these riders." said Christophe. He went on to explain the team's strategy for today: "The first objective of the team is to keep the KOM jersey and the second is the finish sprint for Thor".

Christophe successfully defended his jersey during stage 6 as Jurgen Van De Walle, from Quick Step, was very motivated to try and win all the KOM points. Christophe continued: "At the beginning, there were two riders in the breakaway which made it easier for me as he was third and I was fourth at the first 2 KOMs". As there are no KOM points in stage 7, all Christophe had to do is to finish the race safely.


Christophe Laurent looking good in the 'sunshine jersey' at the start line of stage 7
Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux


Christophe Laurent safely in the peloton during stage 7
Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux

Christophe compared this win with other victories in his career: "I am very pleased as this is a difficult race. There are other races who have KOM points that are not difficult. California does have tough mountains to climb. And it is an eight-day race which makes it an important race. Each year, this race becomes more important, and in my opinion it will become a very important race".

When asked his opinions on the Amgen Tour of California, he stated: "It is really nice and I am enjoying it. The race is very well organized for the riders, it is very fun and I hope to come back. There were a lot of supporters here, and everyone is very friendly"

After returning to France, Christophe hopes to race Paris-Nice and he also planning on racing the Vuelta.


Christophe Laurent with the other Amgen Tour of California jersey winners
Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux

Congratulations Christophe and I do hope that we see you again race on the roads of California.

Ciao.
Lyne

 

 
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