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Giro d'Italia

Joe Dombrowski to Tejay van Garderen, five North Americans in the Giro d’Italia

Four US riders and one Canadian aim to become the first North American rider to win a Giro stage since 2019.

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Four U.S. riders and one Canadian represent the North American contingent at the 2021 Giro d’Italia.

The U.S. group is a little light, at least when compared to eight and seven starters in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

The riders across four teams will be racing to become the first U.S. Giro stage winner since Chad Haga won the final time trial in Verona at the end of the 2019 edition. One Canadian equals the number from the past two editions of the Italian grand tour.

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In what’s no surprise, Italy leads the peloton with 45 national riders. France brings 14, with Spain and Belgium with 13 each.

With Brandon McNulty a late-hour exit from the Giro, there won’t be an American rider racing for the GC in this year’s edition. McNulty, who will likely make his Tour de France debut this summer, finished 15th overall last year, the best U.S. grand tour debut since 2001.

Here’s a look at the North American starters for the 104th edition of the Giro d’Italia:

Joe Dombrowski

(UAE Team Emirates), 29 — sixth Giro start

Fresh off a solid 17th overall at the Tour of the Alps, Joe Dombrowski will be on the hunt for stages the Giro.

The climber has been close to stage wins before, with a third-place in 2016, and eighth in the rainy stage over the Mortirolo in 2019, when he finished a career best 12th overall.

A winner of the “Baby Giro” in 2012, Dombrowski should see a free hand to pick his days in the mountains. With Brandon McNulty getting the nod to race the Tour de France, UAE comes to the Giro with a mixed squad.

Davide Formolo will try to punch into the t0p-10 overall, and Fernando Gaviria and Diego Ulissi also free to chase stage wins.

Antoine Duchesne

(Groupama-FDJ), 29 — Giro debut

Antoine Duchesne is Canada’s lone starter in 2021.

With Thibaut Pinot deciding not to start and sprinter Arnaud Démare targeting the Tour, Duchesne should see plenty of opportunities to ride into breakaways.

The all-rounder can get over medium mountains and packs a fast finishing sprint. A winner of the 2018 Canadian national title, Duchesne is aiming to join the list of Canadian winners of stages at grand tours that also include Steve Bauer, Ryder Hesjedal and Michael Woods.

Matteo Jorgenson

(Movistar), 21 — Giro debut

Photo: James Startt

Following an impressive rookie season in 2020, Matteo Jorgenson gets the nod to make his grand tour debut at the Giro.

The Idaho resident packs a huge motor, and will be assigned to helping nudge team captain Marc Soler as high as possible in the overall classification. Depending on how the race shakes out, Jorgenson will likely have a few chances to try his luck in breakaways as well.

Also read: Jorgenson stoked for Giro debut

Jorgenson continues to develop his skills, and is fitting in well as the Spanish franchise’s first American rider since Andy Hampsten raced under the Banesto banner in the 1990s.

Eighth overall at Paris-Nice in March confirmed he can race with the best. Now the challenge will be stringing together three weeks of hard racing.

Tejay van Garderen

(EF Education-Nippo), 32 — second Giro start

Tejay van Garderen returns to the Giro for the second time, and will be hoping to match his success in 2017 when he dashed to an emotional stage victory into St. Urlich ahead of Mikel Landa.

The Coloradan still holds the best U.S. finish in a grand tour among active riders, twice finishing fifth at the Tour de France, a mark equaled by Andrew Talansky in the 2016 Vuelta a España.

For this Giro, he’ll be playing mentor and road captain as part of a strong EF squad captained by Hugh Carthy.

Larry Warbasse

(Ag2r-Citroën), 30 — fourth Giro start

The Michigan rider is coming off his best grand tour last year at the Giro, when he rode to 17th overall, and finished fifth in a stage.

The French squad is bringing a mixed unit to Italy, which will allow Warbasse to continue on his quest to win a grand tour stage. A solid spring racing campaign will see him arriving in Torino with hopes of hitting top form in the second half of the race.

Also read: Warbasse and his quest for a grand tour stage win

In what will be his eighth grand tour career start, Warbasse packs the perfect blend of experience, base strength, racing savvy and team ambition to put him in pole position for a stage win.

Only 10 U.S. riders won a stage at the Giro, and that’s company Warbasse is keen to join.