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Joe Dombrowski on Tour de France debut: ‘The Tour is the one race that is bigger than cycling’

Dombrowski content on 2022 capped by Giro-Tour double: 'The results don’t always show your condition, particularly if you want to hunt stages.'

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Joe Dombrowski rides into the 2022 off-season happy that he joined the Tour de France starters club.

Back in the United States, Dombrowski knows that the Tour is the only race that registers with everyday fans.

This summer, Dombrowski punched his Tour debut with Astana-Qazaqstan with satisfying results after racing the Giro d’Italia in May.

“The Tour is the one race that is bigger than cycling,” Dombrowski told VeloNews and Cyclingnews in a recent interview.

“It was my first Tour, which it’s nice in the sense that in some ways it’s not any different, but in other ways, it is,” he said. “It was a nice season.”

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Dombrowski ended his season with the Canadian one-races last month, and has new respect for the Giro-Tour double.

Dombrowski’s started 12 grand tours in his WorldTour career, finishing 11. He’s raced the Giro and Vuelta a España in the same season on three occasions, but 2022 was the first time he raced the Giro and Tour back-to-back.

“The Tour was nice and the Giro as well,” he said. “My takeaway is that it’s not easy to do the Giro-Tour double, because the rest of the season feels a bit bombed after that.”

Dombrowski, 31, rides out of 2022 without a stage win, but he was on the attack at both the Giro and Tour.

He admitted that it’s getting harder to ride into breakaways, especially when the opportunities are diminished when the GC fight drags out.

“No stage wins, but sometimes the results don’t always show your condition and everything, particularly if you want to hunt stages, because there is a bit more chance involved,” Dombrowski said “The GC game is set in its way, and it’s only about legs typically. It was OK, and I have enjoyed it.”

The best and the worst of the Tour?

“The start in Denmark was really cool. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a bike race where I’ve seen that kind of atmosphere and crowds,” he said. “I did not particularly enjoy the Roubaix stage. If I had never to do that again it would be OK.”

Dombrowski heads into the winter secure knowing he has a contract with Astana-Qazaqstan for 2023.

The Virginian joined the WorldTour in 2012 with Team Sky, and then raced for EF Education-EasyPost franchise as well as UAE Team Emirates before joining Astana-Qazaqstan this season.

Dombrowski made his Tour de France debut in 2022. (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)