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North American Riders at the Tour de France

Seven Americans and three Canadians will be attending this year's iteration of Le Tour, and we couldn't be more excited.

The Tour de France is a French bicycle race that has been held annually since 1903. It is the most prestigious and difficult of professional road cycling's three "Grand Tours"; the others are the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España. The Tour de France consists of 21 stages over 23 days; these include two rest days. It traditionally starts in late June or early July, and its traditional finish is on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on Bastille Day (July 14).

Flashback to 2007 as the now infamous Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team waited at the grand depart.

Flashback to 2007 as the now infamous Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team waited at the grand depart.

Since 1986, only several American cyclists have had success in the Tour de France. Greg LeMond became the first—and to date, only—valid American winner of the Tour when he triumphed in 1986, 1989, and 1990. He was closely followed by Lance Armstrong, who won an unprecedented seven consecutive Tours from 1999 to 2005; Floyd Landis also won in 2006 before both riders were stripped of their titles. Levi Leipheimer also had a podium finish in 2007 and had his result stripped. George Hincapie also had his 2005 Stage 8 victory stripped. It would take a long time until an American made it back onto the podium, with Tyler Farrar winning a stage in 2011. It would take many more years until someone made the same achievement, with Sepp Kuss winning stage 15 in 2021. Kuss will be riding this year's tour.

Notably, in recent history, Lawson Craddock was involved in a crash on Stage 1 in the 2018 Tour de France which left him with a broken scapula but still managed to finish last overall - an amazing feat that earned him respect from fans and fellow competitors alike with his fighting spirit despite sustaining such injuries early on into one of cycling's most difficult races. Craddock, this year's US national TT champion, will not be present at the tour this year.

We can't wait to see how our hometown heroes perform this year at what is sure to be another exciting iteration of the Tour de France.

This year's riders

Before getting into the list it is worthwhile mentioning that several of the teams, such as EF Education-EasyPost and Trek-Segafredo are registered in the US although USA Cycling does not list them on their website, as the organization highlights national teams and national events.

US - Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost)

Neilson Powless is a rider who often flies under the radar, despite his many impressive performances. He excels in both one-day races and stage races, making him a versatile and dangerous opponent for any rider. At the Tour de Suisse, he put in a particularly strong showing, finishing fourth overall despite some difficult circumstances. This just goes to show that Neilson Powless is a rider to keep an eye on in any race he enters - he may just end up surprising everyone.

US - Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)

Sepp Kuss is a professional cyclist who rides for Jumbo-Visma. He is 25 years old and was born in Durango, Colorado. Kuss began his career riding for the Continental-level Rally Cycling team in 2016, before moving up to the WorldTour with LottoNL-Jumbo (now Jumbo-Visma) in 2017. He has since established himself as a key climbing domestique for the team, playing an important role in helping Primož Roglič to victory at both the Vuelta a España and Giro d'Italia in 2019. Kuss will once again be supporting Roglič at the Tour de France, as Roglič looks to add the yellow jersey to his collection as a prime contender against Tadej "Unstoppable" Pogačar.

US - Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates)

Brandon Mcnulty is an American professional cyclist who currently rides for UAE Team Emirates. He is a strong climber and time trialist, and is considered one of the up-and-coming young talents in the sport. In 2019, he won the Giro di Sicilia and 3rd place the individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships.

CA - Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech)

Michael Woods is a professional cyclist from Canada. He has raced in the Tour de France twice and is currently signed with the Israel-Premier Tech team. In 2019, he came close to winning a stage but was ultimately unsuccessful. His best result came in 2021 when he won a stage at the La Route d’Occitanie – La Dépêche du Midi race.

CA - Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech)

Hugo Houle is a Canadian professional road racing cyclist, who currently rides for AG2R La Mondiale. He was born in Sainte-Perpétue, Quebec, and began his professional career with the SpiderTech p/b C10 team in 2011. In 2013, he signed with AG2R La Mondiale, and rode for them until 2015. He then moved to Astana, where he raced from 2016 until 2021 before switching to Isreal-Premier Tech, Chris Froome's new team. Houle has represented Canada at the Olympic Games three times, in 2012, 2016, and 2020.

US - Joe Dombrowski (Astana)

Joe Dombrowski, now 31 years old, is one of the most highly touted riders to come from his class of the U23 ranks and spent his first two years in the WorldTour with Team Sky. However, he struggled to meet expectations and later learned about a blood flow issue that was severely limiting power in his left leg. After a series of tests 31-year-old underwent Iliac artery surgery. Post-surgery, he switched teams to Cannondale Drepac in 2015 where he went on to win the general classification at the Tour of Utah.

After several seasons with the American outfit, Dombrowski switched again spending two years with UAE Emirates where he scored a stage victory at the 2021 Giro d’Italia before crashing out of the race the next day. Now on his fourth WorldTour team, Dombrowski feels as though he’s riding with the best form of his life and plans to race as long as he can.

This is Dombrowski's first Tour de France and it will be exciting to see how he fares against some of the best riders in the world.

US - Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar)

Matteo Jorgenson is one of the most promising young riders in the peloton and it is exciting to see him make his Tour de France debut in 2022. The 22-year-old American has had a strong season so far, with fourth overall at the Tour de la Provence and a third-place finish on stage five of Paris-Nice after making it into a breakaway. He also rode well at the Criterium du Dauphine, finishing 13th overall despite only having returned from injury a few weeks before. Jorgenson is known for his climbing ability and will be an important support rider for Enric Mas at the Tour de France.

US - Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo)

Quinn Simmons is a young and exciting rider who burst onto the scene in 2021 with some strong performances in the classics. He then went on to ride his grand tour debut at the Vuelta a Espana, where he finished an impressive third on stage 19. This form has continued into 2022 and he will be one of the riders to watch at this year's Tour de France. His strengths are in climbing and sprinting, so we could see him challenging for stage wins throughout the race. It will be exciting to see how he fares against some of the best riders in the world and whether he can continue his progression by taking a stage win at this year's Tour.

US - Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM)

Kevin Vermaerke is a young American rider with plenty of potential. He's already shown his strength with a fourth-place finish on stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné and he also has a 15th-place finish on the demanding stage to Vaujany. It'll be exciting to see how he fares in his first Tour de France in his third year as a professional at age 21.

CA - Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ)

Duchesne, who just completed the Tour de Suisse–where he was 43rd–on Sunday, will ride in support of Thibaut Pinot and David Gaudu. It will be Duchesne’s second career Tour de France and his first since 2016 when he rode for Direct Energie. "Tony the Tiger" has also raced the 2015 and 2018 Vueltas a España and last season’s Giro d’Italia. The 30-year-old has completed all four Grand Tours that he started, and the 2016 Tour was his best result at 107th.

Back in the spring, Groupama-FDJ released a long list of Tour hopefuls and Duchesne wasn’t on it, so it is especially exciting to see the rider on this year's roster. Duchesne is a strong rider who will be able to support Pinot and Gaudu during the race. His experience racing in grand tours will be an asset to the team. It is exciting to see him at the Tour de France because it shows that he is a strong rider who can compete at the highest level.

Final thoughts

The 2022 Tour de France is sure to be another exciting event for cycling fans around the world. Particularly, because of the new technology that will be employed in the coverage of this event such as AR tech--we wrote an article with more about that. American cyclists have had success in the past, and we are excited to see how they perform this year. We wish them all the best of luck and look forward to seeing them on the podium.

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