BOISE, Idaho — Matteo Jorgenson has an itch to compete at the highest level possible in cycling.
"He always wanted to ride with the older riders, even in his younger years when he wasn't able to keep up with them. He was determined to work as hard as he could to keep up with them," Matteo's former coach Douglas Tobin said. "Pursuing higher goals, and putting in the extra work. He was just that type of personality."
At a young age, the cyclist blossomed on two wheels. And his goals quickly shifted. Matteo found interest in standing out, rather than keeping up.
In his family's North End Boise home, Cheri Jorgenson, Matteo's mother, has a box filled with keepsakes and medals. Somewhere in the loosely filed mountain of accolades and newspaper clippings lies three junior national titles. Which Matteo won all three titles across the three different cycling events.
"He'd crash and burn, and he never really complained. He always wanted to get back on the bike. And he always wanted to train. And I think that was kind of telling," Cheri said.
By the time Matteo turned 19, he hit the international scene. Moving to France to pursue a career as a professional cyclist, but it didn't come easy.
Matteo paid his dues, faced setbacks, and fought through injuries. Earlier this year, he tore his hamstring, according to Cheri. But what she thought would be a bump in the road actually turned out as a downhill stretch.
Matteo's team, Movistar, selected him as one of their cyclists to compete in the Tour de France. Starting July 1, Matteo will pedal in the 23-day event on the sport’s biggest stage.
"He had to go into rehab, ya know. Recovery and rehab mode, but what that did for him, somehow, slotted him to be in the best shape of his life for this race," Cheri said.
Matteo will start his Individual Time Trial (ITT) July 1 at 8:37 a.m. Mountain Time, the same morning of his 23rd birthday.
"I just hope he continues to be a cyclist no matter what type his whole life and continues to enjoy it. And being competitive at the world’s highest level doesn't take the joy away from the sport of cycling," Cheri said.
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