Quinn Simmons chased a rainbow jersey Monday in England. He gave a valiant effort despite not having the legs he would have wanted.
The 18-year-old road cyclist from Durango competed in the junior men’s individual time trial at the International Cycling Union (UCI) Road World Championships in Yorkshire. Simmons, who won the junior men’s time trial national championship in June, finished fourth in the world championship event Monday.
The gold medal and rainbow jersey went to Italy’s Antonio Tiberi, who finished in 38 minutes, 28.25 seconds. He was 7.79 seconds faster than Enzo Leijnse of the Netherlands. Spain’s Marco Brenner placed third, 12.62 seconds behind Tiberi.
Simmons was 19.94 seconds off the winning time. He finished well ahead of fifth place Michel Hessmann of Spain, who was 27.76 seconds behind Tiberi.
“And for Quinn, who only really started time trialing this year, to come into the world championships and finish just seven seconds off the podium, it’s very impressive and something he should be proud of,” USA Cycling vice president of elite athletics Scott Schnitzpahn said in a news release.
Michael Garrison added a top-20 result for the United States, as the 18-year-old from Georgia placed 17th. He was 1:54.66 behind the winning time.
The route was two laps for a total of 17.4 miles with a series of short but steep climbs and descents. There was 1,614 feet of climbing. After 3.7 miles, Simmons had the best split time, and he sat second at the halfway point. He had to hang on to fight for fourth while never getting his heart rate where he hoped on a tough day.
The junior women’s time trial was one lap of the course for 8.7 miles. Russia’s Aigui Gareeva won in 22:16.23. She was 3.61 seconds in front of Shirin van Anrooij of the Netherlands. Zoe Ta-Perez had the top-American finish, as she placed seventh, 25.91 seconds behind the winning time.
While Simmons was hoping to change the paint scheme on his Specialized bicycle from the stars and stripes national champion colors to the rainbow representing a world champion on Monday, he will get another chance Thursday in the junior men’s road race.
The junior men’s road race is nearly 92 miles with 7,122 feet of elevation gain. The route features a bit of everything with early climbs, downhills and flat portions that will favor Simmons before three circuit laps and a final sprint.
Simmons won the 2018 junior men’s road race national championship. In 2019, he won the time trial and criterium titles. He has won a combined seven national titles as a junior in road events and mountain biking. Next year, Simmons will make the jump to the under-23 ranks and hopes to sign with a pro team to race full time in Europe.