2024 Tour de France: Meet the Americans who could make history

A general classification win may be out of reach for the American riders in the Tour de France, but ending a three-year stage win drought is well within their grasp. 

Sepp Kuss, 29, was the last American to win a stage when he took Stage 15 of the 2021 Tour de France. The Durango, Colorado native is the best rider the country has seen in a decade. Last year, Kuss finished as the top American in 12th place at the Tour de France and won the 2023 Vuelta a España to become the first American Grand Tour winner since Chris Horner won the same race in 2013. However, although slated to be ​​Jonas Vingegaard’s top support rider for the 2024 Tour de France, Kuss withdrew from this year’s edition after testing positive for COVID-19 in the lead-up to the race. 

Greg LeMond remains the only American to have ever won the general classification category at the Tour de France, accomplishing the feat in 1986, 1989 and 1990. American Lance Armstrong won the Tour from 1999-2005 but was subsequently stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping by the International Cycling Union in 2012.

So, who is left in this year’s race to give the United States a shot at glory — at least for one stage. Here’s a look at the three Americans competing at the 2024 Tour de France.

Matteo Jorgenson (UCI WorldTeam Visma-Lease a Bike)

Jorgenson, 25, is having a breakthrough season with an overall victory at Paris-Nice 2024 and a second-place finish at the 2024 Criterium du Dauphine.

Jorgenson is a strong contender in this year’s race for the white jersey, which recognizes the best young rider under 26. A versatile rider, Jorgenson — alongside Kuss — is poised to be USA’s best hope for a future Tour de France general classification winner. But for now, he will take over from Kuss to play the chief support role for teammate Jonas Vingegaard, who won the 2022 and 2023 Tour de France. 

This year will be Jorgenson’s third Tour de France. The Idaho-raised cyclist finished 20th in the general classification standings in 2022 and had to withdraw in 2023 due to injuries sustained in a crash along the route.

Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost)

A standout mountain biker during his young adulthood in California, 27-year-old Powless transitioned to the road and turned professional in 2018. 

Powless made history in 2020 as the first Native American to compete in the Tour de France. Since then, he has continued to improve and is coming off his strongest season yet with overall victories at the 2023 Grand Prix La Marseillaise and Étoile de Bessèges. 

In Kuss’ absence, Powless is the top American prospect for pulling off a stage win as he is known for his success with breakaways and aptitude at climbing. Last year, Powless led the King of the Mountain classification for the first half of the Tour but was ultimately edged out by Italy’s Giulio Ciccone. This year, he’ll be looking to finally secure the polka-dotted jersey by the end of the Grand Boucle

Sean Quinn

Hailing from Los Angeles, Quinn is a 24-year-old, up-and-coming cyclist riding in his first Tour de France to support Richard Carapaz, team leader of EF Education-EasyPost. Hot off a victory at the U.S. National Road Race Championships in May, Quinn is a strong all-around rider who excels at climbing and can produce strong sprinting kicks. Quinn will certainly be one to watch as he develops in the coming years.

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