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Strade Bianche: Quinn Simmons lights up the white roads: ‘I always race to win’

Coloradan racer stuck with seventh after all-aggressive race on the Tuscan gravel.

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SIENA, Italy (VN) – Go big or go home, right?

At least, that’s how Quinn Simmons races.

The Trek-Segafredo star lit up Siena’s sterrato in the back-half of Saturday’s race only to leave with a second bitter-sweet result in a row in the Piazza del Campo.

“The team was perfect, the equipment was perfect. In the end, I just didn’t have the legs. It’s just disappointing,” Simmons told reporters at the finish. “I thought every day since last year about coming back here, so to miss out on a good result as well hurts a bit, but no excuse. I went all in and we come back next year.”

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Seventh place in Siena on Saturday makes for a palmarès-topping result for the 20-year-old Coloradan.

But the score-sheet tells only tells half the story in what was Simmon’s first captaincy role with Trek-Segafredo.

Just like his red-hot ride with Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel and Co. in last year’s race, the Coloradan saw elite company on the sterrato.

Simmons slammed his way into the front pack, and wasn’t easily intimidated in a group containing the likes of Tour of Flanders champ Kasper Asgreen, attacker-extraordinaire Tim Wellens, and Spanish supremo Alejandro Valverde.

A series of Simmons’ accelerations didn’t stick, and there was no matching Tadej Pogačar’s throttling move at 50km to go.

But hey, at least he tried.

“Maybe it’s a fault. I don’t know, I get in trouble with the team sometimes,” Simmons said of his relentless race-style. “I always race to win, you know, I’m not wanting to sit in and maybe I can be a bit smarter and come in fourth. But at least now I know, I went 100 percent for the win because with the way the team rode, I owe it to them to do that.

“There’s nothing I could have done differently except be stronger. At the end of the day that can be disappointing, but I’m still only 20. I think it’s an OK place to be with how many more years I’ll be back.”

From the sterrato to the ‘stones

Simmons will trade gravel roads for cobbled climbs and pavé sectors later this spring.

The Coloradan returns to the rough and tumble of Belgian racing after seeing his senior debut at the heaviest cobbled classics last year.

Despite a sizzling ride on the stones of Siena this weekend, Simmons isn’t getting carried away ahead of a return to Roubaix and Flanders – the captains’ hats will most definitely be worn by his illustrious leaders Mads Pedersen and Jasper Stuyven

“When we have guys like Mads, Jasper, you know, it’s a pleasure to support them. And for me, this was my chance. Now I go full in for those guys,” Simmons said.

“I’d like to be there in the final to at least learn a bit from those guys,” he said. “It’s no secret that I have a big engine but I struggled to find the right move a lot of the time and those two are amazing at it. So if I can be there to help in the final that’d be the dream for me.”