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Matteo Jorgenson blog: I’m at the freaking Giro d’Italia

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BIOT FRANCE MARCH 12 Start Podium Matteo Jorgenson of United States and Movistar Team during the 79th Paris Nice 2021 Stage 6 a 2025km stage from Brignoles to Biot 120m Mask Covid safety measures Team Presentation ParisNice on March 12 2021 in Biot France Photo by Bas CzerwinskiGetty Images

Matteo Jorgenson rode his first Paris-Nice in 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
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Paris Nice 2021 - 79th Edition - 7th stage Le Broc - Valdeblore La Colmiane 119,2 km - 13/03/2021 - - photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) finished in the top 20 on the 7th stage of Paris-Nice from Le Broc to Valdeblore La Colmiane (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Giro d'Italia 2021 - 104th Edition - Torino - Castello del Valentino - Team Presentation - 06/05/2021 - Movistar Team - photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tall Matteo Jorgenson (center) lines up with Movistar teammates at 2021 Giro d'Italia Team Presentation (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Matteo Jorgenson outisde the Movistar team bus at Tour Colombia 2.1

Matteo Jorgenson outside the Movistar bus at 2020 Tour Colombia 2.1 (Image credit: Pat Malach)

 Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) is a new blogger for Cyclingnews and will provide insights about riding his first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia

The tall (190cm) 21-year-old from Boise, Idaho is riding his second year at the WorldTour level. At the Tour de la Provence in February, he rode to 12th on the climb to Chalet Reynard on Mont Ventoux and finished 14th on GC. Then in his first Paris-Nice, he finished an impressive eighth overall. His debut Grand Tour will be a three-week journey of discovery.  

With the team presentation now complete it’s just hitting me, I’m at the freaking GIRO!

The team presentation was spectacular, albeit a bit quiet because of the lack of people which always dampens the mood a bit, but special nonetheless.

For me, usually, I get mentally switched on for a race during the big travel day involving various taxis, flights and trains. But this time, I got picked up Tuesday at 5 p.m. (CET) in Nice (where I now live) and was with the team in Torino eating dinner by 8 p.m. No time to sit and ponder. Maybe it’s better that way.

I’ve already had quite a big spring leading up to this, or at least it feels like it. It’s funny to think back and remember how, from the outside, I used to watch these big events. I would see the riders at the Team Presentation and imagine they were all arriving in absolute perfect condition, with the ideal run in and at perfect race weight. 

But having lived it now, I realise that it’s all a bit more fluid. You make a plan at the beginning of the season and then you put your head down and work. Along the way though you race here and your body responds one way, and you race again and it responds in another. 

It’s not a perfect science, and my year to date has been no exception. I had a really great winter of training and started the season flying and motivated. The team noticed quickly and we took advantage of it. Boy, am I glad we did because I was already able to achieve some things I’m really proud of. 

All of that is not to say I’m not in great shape now, I definitely am, but it’s just completely unknown territory. I’ve asked a lot of my body and brain, and am about to ask a whole lot more. And that’s exciting in a way. To see how far I can go. 

What’s nice is that we are starting this Giro with a man on form, Marc Soler. It’s his first Grand Tour as the sole leader and I’m quite happy for him to get an opportunity like this. Having spent a couple weeks with him at altitude, I can attest to his work ethic and talent, and I’m really looking forward to helping him out.

Thankfully, for me personally, the team hasn’t applied any pressure and the only expectations are to get through the race and to absorb the absolute maximum. As basic as this sounds, it will be incredibly helpful to have distinct ‘on days’ and ‘off days’. Of course, no day in a Grand Tour is fully off, but the difference between finishing in the gruppetto on a day vs. fighting to survive in the GC group can be quite large it seems. 

As far as the race goes, the first week seems tame to me, but I will probably be proven quite wrong on that. After a big ol’ taper, I hope for a few days to ride into it. 

Anyway, those are some random thoughts for now before we get this huge thing started, I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to say once the festivities begin. 

Ciao for now.

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The tall (190cm) 21-year-old from Boise, Idaho is riding his second year at the WorldTour level in 2021 for Movistar. The abbreviated 2020 season was his first year with the Spanish WorldTour team, having introduced himself to the top-tier of pro cycling the year before as a stagiaire with AG2R La Mondiale and appearances with its Chambéry CF development squad. Movistar has given him a new focus on stage racing and real-time development, and has extended his through 2024. At Tour de la Provence in February of 2021, he rode to 12th on the climb to Chalet Reynard on Mont Ventoux and finished 14th on GC, then in his first Paris-Nice he rode finished an impressive eighth overall. In both those stage races he was the highest-placed rider for Movistar. His first Grand Tour will be the 2021 Giro d'Italia.