Quinn Simmons has proved his early results on a road bicycle are no aberration, at least by his standards.
Simmons, fresh off a third-place finish at the Gent-Wevelgem junior men’s race in Belgium, squeezed in the four-stage Ster van Ziud Limburg road race in Belgium ahead of this week’s Paris-Roubaix juniors race.
Competing in the 19-and-under race in Belgium, the 17-year-old cyclist from Durango finished third in the general classification standings of the International Cycling Union (UCI) governed raced.
He finished the four stages in a combined 9 hours, 1 minute, 54 seconds to finish 17 seconds behind GC winner Mattias Skjelmose Jensen of Denmark. Casper Van Uden of the Netherlands was second, 12 seconds back. Simmons finished one second ahead of Belgium’s Xandres Vervloesem.
“After (three) days of hard racing, I found myself sitting (fifth) in GC,” Simmons said in a post to Instagram. “With nothing to lose the final day, I was able to attack early, drawing out a break that would make it to the finish line, finishing (fourth) on the day, moving up to (third) in GC and (second) in the best young rider competition.”
Van Uden claimed the best young rider five seconds ahead of Simmons. It was Simmons’ strong fourth stage, a 73.63-mile stage from Buvingen to Borlo, that put him on the podium. He finished fourth for the stage, 1:28 behind the winning time of Belgium’s Remco Evenpoel, who finished in 2:49:53.
The opening stage was a 3.6-mile time trial in Mopertingen. Simmons finished sixth in 7:38.77. Great Britan’s Joseph Laverick had the top time in 7:30.441.
Stage 2 was 77 miles. Simmons was 16th on the stage, six seconds behind Jensen-Skjelmose’s time of 2:55:01.
The third stage was the longest of the four at nearly 79 miles. Simmons again was 16th in the same time as stage winner Alfred George of Great Britain, who finished in 3:07:48.
Simmons, riding for Team USA, was the top American finisher in all four stages. Riding for his new Lux Cycling Development Team and as a USA Cycling national team athlete, Simmons’ last two performances in Europe have been stunning as he braces for Paris-Roubaix.
“Quinn Simmons showed his performance at Jr. Gent-Wevelgem was no fluke with another strong performance in Europe over the weekend,” Lux Cycling posted to Facebook. “... Quinn is the current 15-16 (mountain bike cross-country national champion) who is showing a tremendous understanding for road racing at the highest level. Congrats to Quinn and the team that supported him.”