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Tour de France

Matteo Jorgenson distraught after another near-miss at Tour de France

'Disappointment again.' Jorgenson vows to keep hunting after second top-five finish in four days in debut Tour.

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SAINT ÉTIENNE, France (VN) – It took Matteo Jorgenson several minutes to catch his breath and gather his thoughts after finishing fifth at the Tour de France on Friday.

But the sting of disappointment may take some time longer to pass.

U.S. Tour rookie Jorgenson again finished off the stage winner’s podium after missing the decisive three-rider split from a star-studded break that animated stage 13 to Saint-Étienne.

“It’s just so disappointing when you have the legs and the form to make the break like that, and the break makes it to the line. It’s disappointing when you don’t even make the podium,” Jorgenson told reporters at the finish. “So yeah, it is what it is.”

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A fourth-place finish on the stage to Megève on Tuesday proved to Movistar that betting on its U.S. rookie was a good call.

After making it his mission to make the day’s breakaway on a long and lumpy 13th stage Friday, Jorgenson found himself in elite company at the front of the race.

Mads Pedersen, Filippo Ganna, and Stefan Küng added huge horsepower to an escape that dangled precariously close to being caught all day.

Jorgenson was poised in the wheels while stage-winner Pedersen applied the pressure on the roads toward Saint-Étienne. Only it turned out that when the Dane made a decisive acceleration at 9km to go, Movistar’s young ace was tracking the wrong rubber.

“I was watching Ganna because I thought he was the strongest and that he was bluffing. The whole day he looked a little bit on the limit, and yeh, I made the wrong move,” Jorgenson said.

“I was with Küng and Ganna [when the split went away] and they were the most tired of everyone in the break. So yeah, disappointment again.”

Two top-five finishes in four days sees Jorgenson making good on the potential that pushed him fast through the ranks and cemented his place as a key member of the Movistar roster.

The Californian pushed back at questions about seeing himself in reference to his 23 years.

“I didn’t really ever think ‘ah I’m the youngest here.’ That’s something that doesn’t really apply,” he said. “Nowadays in cycling, it seems the younger the better. It seems like it doesn’t really seem to matter anymore.”

Thirteen proved unlucky for Jorgenson on Friday. But he’s already thinking forward to stage 14 and beyond.

“I need to recover from this one. That’s why it’s so disappointing when you go out on a day like that, and you really empty the tank and so tomorrow I can’t be in the break,” he said. “Hopefully I can recover and be in some breaks in the Pyrénées.”