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Sean Quinn kicks to best result so far in WorldTour rookie season

EF Education-EasyPost rookie kicks to third in the opening stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

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VALENCE, France (VN) — WorldTour rookie Sean Quinn kicked to his best result so far in 2022 with third in Sunday’s opening stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

EF Education-EasyPost set him perfectly for the reduced bunch sprint, and he finished it off with a podium spot in third behind stage-winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).

“The boys rode super well and had me in a good position. With about 400 to go, I was on Van Aert’s wheel,” Quinn said at the team bus after the race. “In the end, if I had the legs, I would have been able to win, but he was a bit faster in the sprint so I couldn’t come around him.”

The 22-year-old is riding impressively across his rookie pro season so far in 2022.

After graduating from Hagens-Berman-Axeon, already this season he’s hit out in a string of top-10s in races across a busy spring calendar.

On Sunday, a lumpy stage profile saw some of the pure sprinters like Dylan Groenewegen, Sebastian Molano, and Phil Bauhaus getting dropped, opening the door for Quinn to make his play for the stage.

“It was a really good day for the team,” he said Sunday. “All of us were in the front group, and it was a good day. I am feeling good for the rest of the week.”

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Quinn is confirming his quality not only in fast finishes but across stage races as well, finishing 15th at the Tour of the Alps and 18th at Tour de Romandie.

Riding at the WorldTour level is a big step up, and the Dauphiné is the hardest race he’s done up to now in his young pro career.

So far, he’s not showing any intimidation against racing the likes of van Aert.

“I guess don’t let anyone take the wheel in front of you, and go all-in to be in the perfect position with 300 to go,” he said. “And you got to take some risks, but sometimes you have to be super attentive because it’s easy to crash, because everyone is riding so fast and they’re so close together.”

Monday’s second stage will be even harder, with two second-category climbs across the profile. Quinn might have another chance to go for the win if a breakaway doesn’t stay clear.