Jorgenson finishes second in general classification Critérium du Dauphiné and wins white jersey

Jorgenson finishes second in general classification Critérium du Dauphiné and wins white jersey

Matteo Jorgenson finished second in the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. In an exciting final stage, the 24-year-old American and stage winner Carlos Rodriguez rode towards the finish line, putting pressure on GC leader Primoz Roglic. In the end, Jorgenson stranded eight seconds from the overall victory. He concludes the French stage race in second place and as winner of the young riders classification.

Sepp Kuss did not appear at the start in Thônes this morning. The 29-year-old Vuelta winner had not been feeling fully fit for several stages. Together with the team, it was decided to give him the necessary rest with the Tour de France in mind. Sports director Grischa Niermann: “Sepp was already a bit sick before the Dauphiné and he didn't recover during the past week. We didn't want to take any risks towards the Tour. Sepp now has a few more weeks to recover and prepare optimally."

The remaining four riders of Team Visma | Lease a Bike set off for the 160-kilometre final stage. Again, there was a lot of climbing to be done. The finish was at the top of Plateau des Glières. Just like yesterday, a rider from the yellow-black formation chose to attack. Bart Lemmen was part of the leading group of eleven, which thinned out as the stage progressed. On the final climb, the last escapees were caught by the group of favourites.

Jorgenson, who was second at 1'02’ from leader Roglic before the stage started, was surrounded by teammates Tiesj Benoot and Koen Bouwman. On the final climb of the Col des Glières, the pace was set by Ineos Grenadiers in service of later stage winner Rodriguez. Only Jorgenson could follow the Spaniard's pace. Meanwhile, GC leader Roglic was struggling with five kilometres to go. Jorgenson got closer to the Slovenian in the virtual classification second by second, but the 48 second difference at the finish line was not enough. Jorgenson finished the Dauphiné second overall, eight seconds behind Roglic.

"I felt on the first ascent that Roglic was not having his best day. Later it turned out that my feeling was right”, Jorgenson said. "I woke up this morning with the feeling that it was still possible to take the overall win. With five kilometres to go, Laurens De Plus pulled firmly, putting everyone on the limit. When moments later Rodriguez attacked, I knew I had to follow. I didn't look back anymore, but I heard through the radio that Roglic was struggling. I was also keeping an eye on Gee. He was only 11 seconds behind me in the general classification before the stage started. Once he was dropped, I rode full to the finish with Rodriguez." 

“I came close, but unfortunately it wasn't to be”, Jorgenson continued. "I don't regret anything, so I can leave this Dauphiné with my head held high. I can't help but be satisfied with my performance this week. Furthermore, I would like to thank Tiesj Benoot and my other teammates for the support along the way. Throughout the day, Tiesj kept telling me to keep believing in it. Throughout my career, others believe in me more than I believe in myself, but that is gradually changing. I'm now looking forward to the Tour."

"I saw how the guys have shown resilience over the last few days"

Grischa Niermann

Sports director Niermann also looks back with satisfaction. "We had our dose of bad luck again this week with the crashes of Steven Kruijswijk and Dylan van Baarle and with Sepp's abandonment. But I also saw how the guys have shown resilience over the last few days. We were strong again today. Matteo eventually stranded eight seconds from the overall win, which is a good result. He got the opportunity today and he took it. We should not feel sorry about a possible missed stage win: we went full for the GC. We can be very happy with second place in the overall classification and with the white jersey. Matteo will soon head to the final training camp in preparation for the Tour with a good feeling.”

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