Cycling

Matteo Jorgenson says he will chase stages as future grand tour GC challenge ‘doesn’t inspire me’

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Matteo Jorgenson admits it’s still a work in progress after coming off another solid, if not spectacular, WorldTour campaign in 2022.

A Tour de France debut and a series of close decisions in pursuit of a stage win underscored the American cyclist’s ever-improving skill set in his third season of lessons learned and steady upward progression.

speaking to VeilNewsJorgenson came away with a major confirmation in 2022 after his first big loop on the Tour: he has no interest in trying to become a grand tour cyclist.

“All I can really do is think about what I enjoy in racing and this year it’s solidified for me that I like to go after the stages and be in those breakaway situations,” said Jorgenson. VeilNews. “I also saw what I don’t like. Running in the general classification does not inspire me”.

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Since joining the WorldTour in 2020 with Spain’s Movistar, Jorgenson has been patiently testing the waters, trying his hand at classics, sprints, breakaways and the overall in smaller races.

An unexpected call to compete on the Tour in 2022 came after injury sidelined him from a planned start at the Giro d’Italia.

A leg injury at Paris-Nice was a “blessing in disguise” for Jorgenson, who saw a forced layoff for several weeks to let the injury heal, before a long and constant preparation that included stints at altitude to prepare for his tour debut.

The 23-year-old roared through the Tour in top form with the stated goal of helping Enric Mas set the pace for the month, as well as being given the green light to pursue breakaways.

He came close to taking gold, engaging in three winning breakaways and nearly taking a win each time on thrilling days of racing that only reconfirmed his potential.

While in the thick of it all for three weeks in France, Jorgenson also got a brutal front-row view of what it takes to compete for the yellow jersey.

And while a future overall could be in the cards for shorter stage races in the future, he came away from his run down the Champs-Élysées sure of one thing.

“Just to see those guys suffering behind the wheel on Tour, it looks miserable and it’s not what I want to do,” Jorgenson said in a phone interview before flying home to Idaho. “For the grand tours, I just don’t see myself going to the general. Going forward, I’ll double up on stages.

“I can lose time early and duplicate the stages that really suit me, because I can do a lot of different things,” he said. “The team still has a project for me for some of the week-long stage races, but not for the grand tours.

Jorgenson joined Movistar in 2020, but the coronavirus pandemic ruined his rookie season. Although a professional victory has eluded him so far in his first three WorldTour seasons, he has pushed the accelerator at every opportunity the team gives him.

A top-20 finish at Milan-Sanremo in 2021 opened up possibilities in the classics, and top-10 finishes at Paris-Nice and the Tour de la Provence revealed his consistency in stage races shorter than one week.

He’s fast in a small group sprint, consistent in time trials and can hold his own in the mountains on a good day.

That multi-skillset comes in handy on a variety of terrain, and Jorgenson is confident that victory and future success at the WorldTour’s biggest races is only a matter of time.

“I’m happy with the season and I made some big steps forward,” Jorgenson said of 2022. “Every year I make similar improvements, so that’s good. I missed the win, and that was the big goal of the year. I was able to do the Tour, I saw the best I could there, and I’m very happy with that.

“Getting close to a win, all it does is fuel the fire,” he said of 2022. “I can only take one positive from it. I have more years in which I can improve. I was there constantly from February to October. That’s only good for the future.”

After walking in Corsica, Jorgenson’s offseason sees him return home to Idaho to reconnect with family and friends before returning to Spain in December for a Movistar Team pre-season training camp.

So it will be full of gasoline in 2023.

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