Drummer Boy

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Durango’s Quinn Simmons first American winner of junior Gent-Wevelgem
(Video of win embedded in link)

Next stop, Paris-Roubaix on April 14.  :cool

Just to follow up on this a bit...

It turns out that Paris-Roubaix was quite the target for him this year, and he was extremely unhappy with his 20th place finish, as he had been preparing for this for a couple of years. Things did not go as planned.

In the junior men’s race that was nearly 69 miles long, Durango’s Quinn Simmons placed 20th. The 17-year-old was seventh at Roubaix a year earlier despite a crash and a flate tire. This year, he was frustrated by his result, especially coming off a win a the Gent-Wevelgem junior race in Belgium two weeks earlier.

“When people lose sight of the overall goal you get beat,” Simmons said in a post to Instagram. “Days like today show you who your true friends are. :-x No stone for me but I will keep coming back until I get one. Hopefully the next time I’m here will be with the big boys.

The race juniors was won by Hidde van Veenendaal in 2:44:29. Simmons finished in the group 17 seconds behind the winning time. France’s Hugo Toumire was second, and Lars Boven of the Netherlands finished third.

Simmons said his equipment and legs were good this year.

“Today wasn’t the day,” he said in another Instagram post. “Good legs, good equipment, and good preparation can only get you so far. Spent the last 2 years preparing for this day so it hurts. Some would say ‘that’s bike racing,’ but it’s a lot more (than) that.”

Simmons, the reigning junior road race national champion, will compete at nationals again this year and will now turn his big focus to the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in September in Yorkshire, England.

Disappointed and a bit angry, Simmons channeled his emotions into the four-stage Ster van Zuid-Limburg race in the Netherlands. Simmons finished second, one second behind his teammate Michael Garrison, in the time trial. Magnus Sheffield gave the USA Cycling juniors squad a podium sweep with a third-place result. Simmons was able to win the fourth-and-final stage. USA Cycling claimed the team victory in Holland.

Still, the sting of seeing the pre-race plan fall apart at Paris-Roubaix is hard for the young rider to swallow. He doesn’t know when he will get another shot at Roubaix. While there is an under-23 race, it will be up to his future team to decide which events he can race, and he may not make it back until he reaches the elite level.

“Roubaix, I’m using that disappointment as motivation for the rest of the year and going into the world championships in Yorkshire later this year,” he said. “Roubaix was my biggest goal of spring. This year, we had that unique, block headwind all day. For the juniors, that kind of slows the race down because there’s not enough firepower like pro races where big teams put guys on the front to keep the speed high. The slower race works worse for me and keeps more people in contention.

“We had a plan going in to have guys ride the front, keep it relatively together but to try to make it hard enough through the cobble sectors. One of our guys went up the road in one of the last couple sectors and blew it up. That put myself and other guys on the team riding defensively trying to shut down moves. Being the most-marked rider, everyone sat in the group watching what I was doing. I could only cover so many things, and a couple guys slipped away. With gour guys away and all the other teams following me around with only 10 (kilometers) to go to the line, we didn’t have the chase to catch the guys.”

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  • « Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 04:23 by Drummer Boy »


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