North Americans Competing in the 2022 Tour de France

The 2022 Tour de France is shaping up to be a banner year for North Americans, with ten Americans and Canadians set to start the race on Friday in Copenhagen, Denmark. And while we’re still waiting to cheer on another bona fide competitor, this year’s group should give us something to cheer about with two Americans who should help one of their teammates win the Tour, a Canadian climber looking to win a stage or two, and four American rookies (including three of the five youngest riders in this year’s race) who hope to finish the race and make the most of the chances their teams offer them.

Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)

American Sepp Kuss, winner of a Tour stage last year, heads the list of North Americans participating in the 2022 Tour de France. On his third Tour for Jumbo-Visma, the main The 27-year-old’s responsibilities will be supporting Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingaard in the mountains. When it comes to doing his job, he is one of the best in the world. But as we saw last year when he won stage 15 in Andorra (and a stage of the Tour of Spain in 2019), he is able to make the most of his own chances when he gets them. If all goes according to plan, there won’t be many this year, as Jumbo hopes to face Tadej Pogačar and UAE Team Emirates in a battle to win the Tour, but if he does, another stage victory is a possibility.

Brandon McNulty (United Arab Emirates team)

Speaking of Pogačar, after helping the Slovenian win his second Tour de France last year, American Brandon McNulty is ready to race again for UAE Team Emirates, always with the aim of helping his teammate win the overall race. The good news for McNulty is that his squad is even stronger this year thanks to the additions of New Zealander George Bennett and Spaniard Marc Soler. McNulty will therefore have additional help. And if Pogačar puts the yellow jersey out of reach as early as last year, McNulty might even have a few chances to fight for a stage victory in the third week of the Tour. He has had his best season yet as a WorldTour pro so far, winning two races in Mallorca to start the season and then a stop at Paris-Nice in March. A Grand Tour stage win is the next logical step for the 24-year-old to take.

Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech)

Canadian Mike Woods arrives at the Tour de France after winning La Route d’Occitanie, a four-day stage race in the French Pyrenees that many riders use to put the finishing touches on their form for the Tour de France. Woods won the ‘Queen Stage’ of the race by over a minute, which was more than enough time to win the race overall. But despite the success, we don’t expect to see Woods fight for an overall Tour classification. Instead, the 35-year-old is most likely on the hunt for stage wins – and he’ll have plenty of chances as several stages have profiles that match his strengths as a climber. So don’t be surprised to see Woods wasting a lot of time in the early stages of the Tour in hopes of staying safe and fresh for the mountains, while also getting far enough away from the contention that he wouldn’t be seen as a threat when he goes on the attack. to win stages later in the Tour (possibly upon arrival at the top of stage 7 on the Super Planche des Belles Filles).

Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost)

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Despite being registered in the United States, EF Education-EasyPost almost came to the Tour without an American rider, as the team’s cosmopolitan roster presents many tough choices when it comes to picking the top eight riders. capable of supporting Rigoberto Uran’s chances at the GC while challenging for stage wins along the way. But Powless made the cut, most likely for two reasons: he finished fourth overall in the recent Tour de Suisse; and managed to avoid the COVID-19 outbreak which forced half of the team’s riders to drop out of the race before the start of Stage 6. Look for Powless to chase stage wins while making his best to support Uran’s bid for a top 5 overall.

Joe Dombrowski (Astana)

After finishing the Tour of Italy and the recent La Route d’Occitanie, we didn’t expect to see Joe Dombrowski on the Tour de France start list, but his team seems to be taking a “chips all against the wall and see what sticks” approach to the Tour de France, which means the American climber has secured a place on the list. Surprisingly, this is Dombrowski’s first Tour de France despite competing in the WorldTour since 2013, but as far as we’re concerned, better late than never. With so many races in his legs in the last two months, we suspect the 31-year-old will calm down in the first week, avoiding trouble in the hope of having some chances of a breakaway stage victory in the mountains. during the second and third weeks of the Tour.

Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar)

Another American making his Tour debut, Jorgenson is an up-and-comer who has chosen a rather unique WorldTour route while riding for a predominantly Spanish team. But the move gave him a chance to grow within a program that has won more than 15 Grand Tours, as well as having the chance to compete in some pretty big races outside of Spain. And the team clearly sees him as a future team leader: when announcing their roster for the Tour, the team gave him pride of place in the press release, calling him “an American hope “. Expect the 22-year-old to spend much of his time supporting Spaniard Enric Mas, the team’s GC captain, while having a few chances to attack himself a once the GC race has calmed down a bit, most likely in the Tour. third week.

Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo)

Less than two months shy of his 21st birthday, Quinn Simmons is the youngest rider in the entire 2022 Tour de France. The American won the junior road race at the World Championships in 2019 and then went straight to the WorldTour, jumping completely the under 23 category. Despite turning pro during the COVID-truncated 2020 season, Simmons still made his mark (on and off the bike), and last year won his first pro race and completed his first Grand Tour. Now he’s heading to the Tour, where he and his teammates are focused on stage wins. Strong, aggressive and fearless through the rigors of WorldTour racing despite his young age, we won’t be surprised if he wins a stage.

Kevin Vermaerke (DSM team)

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The second-youngest rider in this year’s race, American Kevin Vermaerke is a rookie in the truest sense of the word as the 2022 Tour de France will be the first Grand Tour of the 21-year-old’s career. It’s a rare feat as most riders use the Tours of Italy or Spain to make their Grand Tour debut, but Vermaerke – as evidenced by his aggressive driving in the recent Critérium du Dauphiné – looks set to take the leap. not. And he’s part of the perfect team for that: Team DSM comes to the Tour looking for stage wins, and it’s “all for one; The ‘one for all’ approach means Vermaerke should have opportunities to attack and look for a stage win.

Hugo Houle (Israel-First Tech)

Hugo Houle has been a staple of recent Tours de France, as the Canadian has raced the past three editions as a key domestic with Astana. He joined Israel-PremierTech this past offseason, where he will take on a similar role. His team has several cards to play when it comes to winning stages with Woods, Denmark’s Jakob Fuglsang and South African Daryl Impey all coming to the race in top form (and Britain’s Chris Froome hoping to get there soon). So the ceiling for Houle is a top 10 in one of the Tour’s two individual time trials in addition to the hard work he will put in to support his teammates.

Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ)

Another Canadian veteran, Antoine Duchesne has been riding for top French teams since 2014. Competing in the Tour de France for the second time since finishing the race in 2016, the 30-year-old will spend the Tour as ” servant” for her French. team, grabbing water bottles, jackets, and snacks for his team’s protected riders. If he gets the chance to attack himself, it will likely be later in the Tour, the days when his more accomplished teammates take it easy or (if things go wrong) out of the race.

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