Skip to main content

Matteo Jorgenson blog: Second week a wild ride at the Giro d'Italia

Image 1 of 5

VERONA ITALY MAY 21 Matteo Jorgenson of United States and Movistar Team at start during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 13 a 198km stage from Ravenna to Verona girodiitalia Giro UCIworldtour on May 21 2021 in Verona Italy Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

Matteo Jorgenson heads to rider-sign in at stage 13 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)
Image 2 of 5

Giro d Italia 2021 104th Edition 14th stage Cittadella Monte Zoncolan 205 km 22052021 Matteo Jorgenson USA Movistar Team photo Dario BelingheriBettiniPhoto2021

The epic conditions on stage 14 as Matteo Jorgenson heads to the finish at Monte Zoncolan (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 3 of 5

Giro dItalia 2021 104th Edition 11th stage Perugia Montalcino 162 km 19052021 Dario Cataldo ITA Movistar Team Antonio Pedrero ESP Movistar Team photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

Matteo Jorgenson part of Movistar group on stage 11 for 162km from Perugia to Montalcino (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 4 of 5

Giro dItalia 2021 104th Edition 13th stage Ravenna Verona 198 km 21052021 Movistar Team photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

Ceremonies before stage 13 to Verona, Matteo Jorgenson is the tall one in the Movistar lineup (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
Image 5 of 5

Giro dItalia 2021 104th Edition 13th stage Ravenna Verona 198 km 21052021 Matteo Jorgenson USA Movistar Team photo Luca BettiniBettiniPhoto2021

All concentration on stage 13 for Matteo Jorgenson (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) is a new blogger for Cyclingnews and is providing insights about riding his first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, now in its third and final week. 

Personally, I have had a pretty rough Giro d'Italia, and after a difficult first week being sick, and a complicated second week, the fatigue is notable. 

I’m sure this is how most riders in the race are feeling but its still a very unique sensation when the flag drops two-plus weeks in. The body knows whats coming and just doesn’t want to let you start going hard. After about 10 minutes, things feel better but those first minutes are very strange. 

This second week of the Giro was a wild ride. It started with a bang at the Strade Bianchi stage right after the first rest day where we saw a lot of action. 

Movistar had a good plan to bring [Marc] Soler into the first sector in the first 10 wheels, and we did, along with three teammates. So Marc, Albert [Torres], Nelson [Oliveira] and I came out of the first sector in a group of about 20, and missing some notable riders like Hugh Carthy (EF Education-Nippo0, Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep). So immediately Albert and I started helping Ineos push the tempo on the road sector but the group was able to rejoin from behind after a big effort. 

My job then was to last as long as possible because Marc and I ride very similar fits with our bikes, so if there was any problem at all he could jump on my bike without issue. Marc lacked a bit on the final climb and ended up losing a bit of time, but it was an encouraging day for the whole team as we executed well. 

The next morning though, things started to go wrong. On our way to Siena before stage 12, our bus broke down in the middle of the road. Our team doctor got out and started directing traffic while we changed in a hurry and grabbed everything we needed for the stage, piling in the team cars and driving the rest of the way. We all made it to the sign-in and began to focus on the 212km ahead of us when things only got worse. 

A few kilometres into the race a message comes through the radio that Marc [Soler] had crashed and that we needed to wait up. Meanwhile the race was a full-on fight for the breakaway, and as I was waiting at the back of the group it started to split. 

Groups were getting dropped and I started to drift back through the caravan looking for Marc. My teammate Albert was with him and they were already behind the caravan with the medical car getting checked out. For about 30 minutes while our director, the medical team and Marc were trying to figure out if he should continue or not, I was suffering among the team cars. I wasn’t certain whether to stop completely and wait or sit in the group, so I stayed in the middle and spent a ton of energy. 

Eventually the medical team advised Marc should probably stop the race and he pulled out, so we had to get back to the group. After two hours of racing, I made it back and was empty, with four hours to go. I began to eat and drink to try and find my way out of the hole, but I couldn’t fuel enough in time before we started hitting the big climbs that littered the second part of the stage. 

Barely able to do tempo, I was dropped quickly and soon found myself dead last on course, with 100km to go. I had our second car with me, and our director Chente [García Acosta] who motivated me as I suffered through one of the worst days I’ve ever had on a bike. 

Thankfully after six hours, I made it to the finish within the time limit, and was able to continue with the race. It was a day I won’t forget. 

Since then, our team’s objectives have had to completely change. Without a leader the only thing left to do is try to win a stage. So, on the mountainous days we give everything to get our climbers Antonio [Pedrero] or Einer [Augusto Rubio] into the break. And on the other days, everyone else. It's always a bit random and hard to predict at the start so we have had mixed results, but with only a few more chances we are going all in. 

The days with flat starts and mountainous finishes are the most complicated because the break is selected from pure speed, which is hard for sub-60kg climbers. So we have been trying to launch in pairs, one big guy with a climber on the wheel. 

No luck with this novel strategy, yet, haha. 

Only stage 18 remains as an opportunity for me at this Giro. It's the longest stage of the race, and could be controlled by the sprint teams that still remain in the race, but I’ll give everything to be in the move that day. 

With some luck and some more suffering I can make it to the TT in Milan. 

¡Vamos a por ello!

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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.