Matteo Jorgensen on the cusp of Tour de France debut

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From Paris-Roubaix and unbound gravel to the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France, the Vuelta a Espaa, and everything in between when you
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La Volte-sur-Rhne, France (VN) — Matteo Jorgensen can make his own Tour de France Debut the following month was due to a leg injury that wrecked his 2022 racing calendar.

22 year old American is on MovistarShortlisted to race the Tour next month, and if he makes it safely through the eight-stage Critérium du Dauphiné this week, things are looking up.

“Nothing is confirmed until after the Dauphiné,” Jorgensen said on Sunday. “I believe I’ll be there and I’ve been given all the signs, but you never really know until they finalize the team.”

Now in his third season on the Spanish WorldTour team, Jorgensen was originally drafted to race the Giro d’Italia this spring.

However, a muscle injury on his thigh during Paris-Nice threw a wrench in his racing calendar. After what was expected to be a brief stop, the bike turned into a full month stop, the door of the Tour opening unexpectedly.

“We started talking about the Tour for the first time right after Paris-Nice,” he said. “I was supposed to do the Giro, but I had a bad injury, and as soon as we found out it was going to be three weeks off the bike, he said the Giro was definitely off the table. So it opened up a good opportunity to build for the trip.

“I tore my hamstring behind the knee,” he said of the Paris-Nice injury. “It was a minor injury when I crashed in the crosswind in stage 3, but I kept running through it because I was on a good GC and I was in the white jersey.

“Unfortunately, it got worse and it was a very severe tear,” he said. “In the end, it was a mistake, but when you’re in a race, you want to keep going.”

After a period of rest, Jorgensen is now back in full force, and showed his form last week with a seventh in the Merken’tour classic Alpes-Maritimes.

Jorgensen said there are nine riders for the eight starters to go into the Tour, so his prospects for the Tour are very good.

The official final Tour selection won’t come until after Dauphiné, but Jorgensen remained quietly optimistic at Sunday’s open stage.

“There are nine of us on the Tour list,” he said. “Go eight, so I hope to make it, but we’ll know after the Dauphin for sure. I’m looking forward to it. It will be the highlight of my life so far.”

This week, Jorgensen races the Dauphin for the first time. The race is a longtime reference to the Tour, and several yellow jersey favorites are racing this week.

“This Dauphiné is an important step for me personally, and it will be a good week to see where I am now and going in the Tour,” Jorgensen said at the start line. “This race is really important for the whole team. We have a good leader in Enrique, and we hope to show what he is capable of.”

Jorgensen has been candid about this week’s Dauphin and his role in building the final eight-rider roster during the Tour.

This week and next month, Movistar is going to rally the “blues” Enrique Masso and a bid for Dauphiné on 24 July as well as a final podium in Paris when the Tour ends.

“My job is to keep him out of the air, and try to get as far in the mountains as I can on the weekends,” he said. “I need to be close to Enrique and have a good level of strength to show that I’m climbing well.”

If selected for the Tour, the race would mark another step in quick progress for Jorgensen.

He joined Movistar in 2020, barely out of his teens, and was quick to impress in his neo-pro season, even if it was marked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last year, he entered the top-10 at Paris-Nice and made his grand tour debut at the 2021 Giro.

Everything is moving towards the tour. Jorgensen hopes to make it to the final.

“It will be super, super special to race the Tour,” he said. “Just the thought of being able to say that I’m going to race the Tour, it’s pretty exciting. As an American, it’s the only race that Americans really even know about. It’s pretty cool.” It will be very exciting.”

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