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Simmons wins third stage of Vuelta a San Juan

Durangoan gives Trek Segafredo its first win of the year
Quinn Simmons pedals past his competition to win the third stage of the Vuelta a San Juan on Tuesday in Argentina. (Courtesy Trek Segafredo)

Durangoan Quinn Simmons delivered Trek Segafredo its first win of the 2023 season, getting the jump on the peloton with a last-minute attack on stage three of Vuelta a San Juan on Tuesday.

The real action in Argentina was saved for the closing moments of the stage, and the Trek-Segafredo team had a plan in place, protecting the 21-year-old American rider and keeping him well-positioned all day and waiting for the right moment.

Inside the final kilometer – on a long straight section of the Autodromo de Villicum – Simmons launched himself off the front of the peloton, and no one was able to follow his wheel after his surprise attack.

If anything, the chase behind him appeared to make Simmons stronger. Once the finish line was in sight, Simmons continued to dig deep to hold off the bunch and take Trek-Segafredo’s first victory of the year.

“The biggest part of winning was the guys that we had riding today,” Simmons said. “First thing today when I woke up my coach had sent me the video from (how) this was won in the same way. I told my roommate Mathias (Vacek), ‘If you bring me there to this point I’ll win today.’”

“You saw the guys all the way from 30 kilometers to go, we were always in position,” he continued. “To win like that is something special. For a rider like myself there aren’t a ton of opportunities – I won’t win in a sprint and I won’t win in the big mountains so you have to go on the hard days or make your attacks in the final like that. I made one promise to the team this year and that’s to win more races because last year I didn’t win any. Now I’ve gone 100% better. That exact spot I picked already this morning, after talking to my coach and the other riders in the team. I know my physiology, I know for that amount of time I’m one of the best riders around so we had to do it.”

The stage was 170.9 kilometers, beginning and ending in Autodromo de Villicum and featuring 379 meters of climbing. Simmons’ winning time was 3 hours, 49 minutes, 30 seconds. Maximilian Richeze of Argentina finished second and Sam Bennett of BORA-hansgrove third. Bennett also won the 143.9-kilometer first stage and led the general classification after the stage. Fabio Jakobsen of Soudal – Quick Step won stage two.

Simmons also moved up 24 spots to 51st in the tour’s general classification with his stage win and trailed Bennett by 24 seconds.

On the 196.5-kilometer fourth stage Wednesday, Simmons finished near the front again in eight place, crossing in the same time as the winner, Fernando Gaviria of Movistar Team. Gaviria also took over GC lead (16:06:19) while Simmons moved into 38th place 23 seconds back.

Simmons was also seventh in the youth division after Wednesday, trailing Tobias Lund Andresen of Team DSM by seven seconds. TotalEnergies had the team lead (48:19:47) and Trek Segafredo was nine seconds back in ninth.

The Tour of San Juan will conclude on Sunday after a seventh stage.

“Thank you boys, perfection today,” Simmons posted after his win Tuesday.