Tour de France 2022: Who are the 7 US riders competing this year?
With the 2022 Tour de France kicking off with Friday’s Grand Départ in Copenhagen, Denmark, we take a look at all of the riders representing North America.
Competitive cycling has long been the preserve of the European nations, with notable exceptions such as Colombia in South America, but is a sport that, over the years, has captured the North American imagination.
The field of professional cycling is still largely made up of riders from across Europe, but in the 2022 Tour de France, North America will be represented by ten cyclists, seven from the United States and three from Canada.
We take a look at each of the North American riders who will be on the start line when the race kicks off with the Grand Départ in Copenhagen on Friday.
The US riders
Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)
Sepp will almost certainly occupy the most television screen time of any of the North American riders, given that he became the first US stage winner in more than a decade during last year’s Tour when he outclimbed everyone in Andorra. One of the best climbers in world cycling, he has also won a stage of the Vuelta de España and after eight Vueltas and two Giro d’Italias, the 27-year old is now in his third Tour de France, shouldering a ton of expectation.
Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost)
Also in his third Tour, Powless, who is a member of the Oneida nation, has made headlines as the first tribally-recognized Native American to compete in the Tour. After last year’s Tour, Powless won the San Sebastian Classic in Spain, and then narrowly missed out a stage win in the Tour de Suisse. Although primarily a support rider, he will be looking to earn points himself to keep his place on the team intact.
Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates)
The Arizona native McNulty is also in his third tour, will be reprising his role as a climbing domestique for team leader, and defending Tour champion, Tadej Pogačar.
While the thought of toting water bidons to help someone else win the tour may not be the most glamorous of roles, any cyclist in the world would jump at the opportunity to gain this experience. The circumstances may not prove to be correct for him to break away, but if that should change, he is certainly capable of winning a stage in his own right.
Joe Dombrowski (Astana Qazaqstan)
The 31-year-old Delaware native has been around so long, winning a stage in last year’s Giro d’Italia, a race which he has appeared seven times, along with four appearances in the Vuelta de España, that it is difficult to believe that he will be a Tour de France debutant this year.
The former Team Sky rider has spent time in support roles with Team Emirates and Slipstream before moving to Astana Qazaqstan, where he will have a chance to ride free and try to win a few maillots jaunes of his own.
Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team)
Another rider making his debut appearance in the Tour de France, Jorgenson will fulfil a support role for the Spanish Movistar Team and their lead rider Enric Mas. Having turned pro just before the pandemic, this will be his second Grand Tour, after finishing the 2021 Giro d’Italia. Strong as both a climber and a sprinter, he may be able to find a gap to prove his worth.
Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM)
A third Tour first-timer, Vermaerke has previously won the sub-23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège and has had a strong showing, finishing fourth, in the Critérium du Dauphiné. A strong climber, he is riding on an aggressive team who like to push for the lead, which could see the 21-year old involved in a few breakaways.
Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo)
The youngest rider in the Tour de France, Simmons is a former Junior World Championships winner and has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons after social media posts got him benched by his team.
Since reinstatement, Simmons has won a stage and the overall Tour de Wallonie as well as finishing the Vuelta de España where he was pipped to a stage win. After relentless attacking in Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Suisse, Trek-Segafredo will likely encourage the young Coloradan to push forward in the mountain stages.
The Canadian riders
Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ)
Former Canadian national champion, Duchesne last raced the Tour de France with his old team, Direct Energie, back in 2016 and will be domestique for Thibaut Pinot and David Gaudu, and will be looked at as the anchor of the French team when they push for podium.
Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech)
The main motor for the Israeli team, Houle spent four seasons with Astana as their key domestique. Taking on the same role with Premier Tech, he is a former Canadian time-trial champion and will be looking to get a top ten ride in one of the two individual time trials.
Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech)
The 35-year-old Woods is the rider to keep your eye on when the grade starts to incline. A runner who transitioned to cycling relatively late, he will be on the prowl for stage wins in the climbs. He may lose a ton of time in the opening stages hoping to dominate in the mountains, but is a legitimate contender for the Tour de France.