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Simmons extends KOM lead

Durangoan places fourth on sixth stage as more teams withdraw
Quinn Simmons, pictured after winning the 2022 Iron Horse Bicycle Classic men’s road race in Silverton, has a commanding lead in the King of the Mountain contest at the Tour de Suisse. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Quinn Simmons of Trek Segafredo had a monster day on Friday during the sixth stage of the Tour de Suisse, extending his lead in the King of the Mountain race while nearly winning the stage.

Simmons was part of a group of 12 that took an early lead, but at the top of the first big mountain pass, Simmons rode through the KOM line all by himself to score the maximum points.

With a little over 11 kilometers to go on the 190K stage, Simmons was dropped from the lead group.

However, with only 400 meters to go, Simmons made a strong push to rejoin the leaders and nearly win the stage. Simmons was part of a four-man group that sprinted together to the finish, but Nico Denz of Team DSM was able to cross first in 5 hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds.

Simmons finished fourth in the same time.

Simmons, however, gave himself a nearly insurmountable lead in the King of the Mountain contest with just one long stage left before the tour concludes with a time trial on Sunday. Simmons scored 26 KOM points on Friday and finished the day with 60 KOM points, three times as many as the cyclist in second place, Demz.

Simmons is also third in the points race with 18, trailing Michael Matthews of Team Bike Exchange Jayco (22) and Andreas Leknessund of Team DSM (20).

Simmons is also 10th in the youth standings.

Three additional teams and a total of 29 cyclists pulled out of the tour on Friday because of COVID, a day after Team Jumbo Visma withdrew. Bahrain- Victorious, UAE Team Emirates and Alpecin-Fenix did not start on Friday. Thomas Pidcock of INEOS Grenadiers did not race, and neither did Stephen Williams, who led the general classification for the first four stages.

Jakob Fuglsang of Israel Premier Tech now leads the GC by one second over Thomas Geraint of INEOS Grenadiers.

The seventh stage on Saturday will be 194.6 kilometers, and then the tour will conclude with a 25.6-kilometer individual time trial on Sunday.