Matteo Jorgenson surges into white jersey at Critérium du Dauphiné

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This article originally appeared on Velo News

MARCILLY-LE-CHATEL, France (VN) -- Matteo Jorgenson is doing his job and moving up in the world at the same time.

His reward was the white jersey of the best young rider at the Criterium du Dauphine at the end of Tuesday’s wild ride in stage 3.

The American on Movistar is racing this Dauphine to help keep GC captain Enric Mas out of trouble.

And when that was mission accomplished Tuesday on the short but steep summit finale, Jorgenson made his move.

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He dashed to ninth on the stage, good enough to slot him atop the best young rider’s jersey classification.

Speaking at the start Tuesday, Jorgenson said he expected “a big battle between the breakaway and the GC group,” and he was right.

Jumbo-Visma did most of the heavy lifting to reel in the day’s break coming into the sharp end of the 169km stage from Saint-Paulien to Chastreix-Sancy.

With Mas safely tucked into the lead group of nearly 30 riders, Jorgenson worked his way through traffic to hit the top-10.

And even more important than leading the white jersey is that he now is fifth overall on GC going into Wednesday’s time trial.

“I’m here to help Enric, and I hope to be up there to help him and keep him out of the wind,” he said at the start Tuesday morning. “Things are going well. We lost Imanol [Erviti] to a crash and we’ve had to adapt to missing him.”

In the running for a Tour de France start

Jorgenson’s surge upward comes at a good time for the third-year pro as he is fighting for a starting spot on Movistar’s Tour de France roster.

The 22-year-old American is on Movistar's short list to race the Tour next month, and if he makes it safely through the eight-stage Criterium du Dauphine this week, things are looking up.

"Nothing is confirmed until after the Dauphine," Jorgenson said. "I feel confident I will be there and I've been given all the indications, but you really never know until they finalize the team."

Jorgenson bounced back from a muscle tear that sidelined him for the Giro d’Italia, and showed off his form last week at the Mercan'Tour Classic Alpes-Maritimes with seventh.

New generation of American shining at the Dauphine

Jorgenson is the latest young American to light up this Dauphine.

Sean Quinn (EF Education-EasyPost) kicked to third to open the Dauphine in Sunday’s first stage for his best WorldTour result so far in his rookie season, while Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM) hit fourth out of the winning breakaway Monday in stage 2 to win the white jersey.

Brandon McNulty (UAE Emirates) is up next and is expected to surge further into the GC frame following Wednesday’s time trial. McNulty is tied on time with Jorgenson and could move into the white jersey in stage 4.

“It’s good to see the Americans,” Jorgenson said. “Kevin in the breaks and Sean in the sprints. We’re coming up.”

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