Tour de France fourth places don’t mean much to Matteo Jorgenson anymore

'His heart was hurting more than anything else'.

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Matteo Jorgenson arrives back at the bus. Quietly, he leans his bike against the side of the vehicle and walks up the stairs wearing a thousand-yard stare. He’s bloodied, tired and most of all annoyed at another chance of Tour de France stage glory passing him by.

“Today I knew it was my last chance to win a stage and I went all in. Today the team gave me half an opportunity: as long as things didn’t blow up behind I could go for the stage if I got in a break, I think I was pulling it mostly right but it was getting a bit complicated,” Jorgenson said after the stage. He had made the day’s break but found himself in the chase group on the descent alongside Michael Woods, whose teammate Hugo Houle was the lone leader racing away to the stage victory.

“I took the descent full gas,” Jorgenson continued, trying to wrestle back control of the race when he somersaulted off his bike on a corner and crashed hard. “You had to take some risks to try close the gap, 20 seconds or maybe more, so I was taking risks and that’s what happens when you race. You have a chance of crashing and I went down. It’s just disappointment that I couldn’t even finish on the podium, it just stings a lot.”

The pain is not only physical but also mental. The American missed Hugo Houle’s move off the front and despite having the legs couldn’t quite chase back to the Canadian.

“A lot of disappointment, a lot,” was Jorgenson’s main emotion after the finish.

“I had good legs so when you have legs like that it just makes it even more disappointing to not win the stage. I think when Hugo Houle was up there I didn’t quite see him go, I was at the car. And when we pulled Tony Gallopin back eventually I heard on the radio that Hugo was up there so I started riding on that wall but I couldn’t quite get there, and so I kept pedalling on that descent with Mike Woods on the wheel. Then it just got a bit complicated.

“I’m not super content to be honest, it’s another fourth place. Those don’t mean much to me now.”

If this is Jorgenson’s last chance for individual glory, what can he take from this Tour if not a trip to the podium?

“Confidence that I have the legs. I have some injuries now so I don’t know how much I’ll be able to help Enric. But confidence that I’m growing as a rider mostly, and that I can keep getting after it and hopefully at the Tour next year I can win a stage.”

Fourth on stage 10, fifth on stage 13, fourth on stage 16.

“His heart was hurting more than anything else,” concluded Movistar sports director Patxi Vila.

Jorgenson’s physical injuries will heal. The pain of the fourth places will take 11 months to heal until he’s on the Tour start line next year.

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