Matteo Jorgenson riding high at Paris-Nice ahead of mountaintop test

Jorgenson testing stage-race potential with strong ride into fifth on GC with two stages remaining.

Matteo Jorgenson is sitting in fifth overall at Paris-Nice and has home advantage heading into the decisive final two stages.

The 21-year-old is pedaling into his sophomore season at Movistar with a new GC focus and a debut grand tour at the Giro d’Italia this May in his sights. Hot off the back at a strong ride at the Tour de la Provence last month, Jorgenson has strung together a series of top placings through the opening stages in the “Race to the Sun.”

Also read: The classics can wait for Matteo Jorgenson

The Boise native now sits 1:08 down on race-leader Primož Roglič and only 18 seconds away from a podium position ahead of a potentially pivotal mountaintop finish on the Colmiane on Saturday.

“I thought a good ride was possible, I came in here with good form,” Jorgenson told VeloNews ahead of the stage Saturday. “But look, it’s not over yet, today’s the real test so we’ll see how it goes.”

Jorgenson has been handed a free role at Paris-Nice this week as Movistar looks to test his stage-racing abilities. Paris-Nice is just his second WorldTour week-long competition, and every day is a learning opportunity – and one that comes with the advantage of being on Jorgenson’s home roads.

“It’s been a huge experience for me,” Jorgenson told VeloNews‘ James Startt. “I really like the race, and finishing here in Nice is a super-nice way to finish, so close to home. I live just 15 minutes away in Nice, where I live with [EF Education-Nippo rider] Will Barta.”

Stage 7’s grinding 16-kilometer mountaintop finish to La Colmiane will likely see a major GC shakeup. However, Jorgenson has proven his climbing legs with a standout ride on the slopes of the Ventoux at February’s Tour de la Provence, and packs the advantage of local knowledge.

“I know every road that we’re doing down here,” he said. “I’ve done the climb a few times, I know it well. It’s not super-super hard so it should be good. It’s at least a 40-minute effort, it will for sure be decisive.”