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QUEBEC, Canada (VN) — Quinn Simmons won the “baby” world title in 2019, but he won’t be going back this month to chase the elite men’s rainbow jersey in Wollongong.
The Trek-Segafredo rider, who is lining up this weekend in Québec and Montréal for a pair of one-day races, told USA Cycling coaches he wanted to bypass the 2022 road world championships this year.
“If I am honest, I am just tired,” Simmons told VeloNews. “I want to be there, and I want to go for a good result in the national jersey. That is one of my biggest goals of my career. I called up Jim Miller and I was just honest with him. I didn’t feel like mentally or physically that I am on a level to get a result.”
Citing fatigue and the impacts of a long racing season that included a few bouts of illnesses as well as his Tour de France debut, Simmons said he didn’t want to race the worlds if he wasn’t going to be in his best possible condition.
“On Sunday, we have 250km, and Monday morning, we fly to Australia, and then I still have some races in Europe I have to do. That’s a lot,” he said. “It would be a nice trip, because I’ve never been to Australia, but I don’t want to go there and just ride around and get dropped.”
Finishing off 2022 with Canada and Europe
The 21-year-old kicked to eighth at last weekend’s Maryland Cycling Classic, and will race the Canadian one-days at Québec and Montréal before returning to Europe to race the fall classics.
The idea of traveling down to Australian when he simply wasn’t feeling like he had winning legs just wasn’t worth it.
Unlike some other teams which are facing the threat of relegation, Trek-Segafredo is safely in the middle of the WorldTour pack, and is releasing its riders to race in Wollongong.
For Simmons, however, it was more of a question of fitness and respect for his USA Cycling teammates.
“I don’t want to go there just to go there, and then take a spot from someone who is riding well. That’s not fair,” Simmons said. “It’s not any more that they have a hard time finding six good Americans. It’s a team you have to fight to be on now. I won the ‘baby’ worlds, and eventually I want the real worlds, but this isn’t the year.”
In 2019, Simmons won the junior world title in Yorkshire, and made the jump to the WorldTour as an 18-year-old. Last year, he made his elite men’s worlds debut, but did not finish in Leuven.
This summer, he made his Tour debut, where he rode into several winning breakaways and played a key role in helping to set up Mads Pedersen to win stage 13. Simmons won the most combative prize in stage 19.
Simmons said he’d rather finish off the fall classics on a high note to carry momentum into 2023 and what will be his fourth pro season rather than race in Wollongong when he admits he wouldn’t have the legs to be a contender for the podium.
“On paper, I don’t have the most race days. Every time I race, I go full gas and make it count,” he said. “I think that started to wear me out, plus back and forth to Europe. I still have one more trip to Europe, and I want to finish the season on a good level.”
Simmons will race in a series of one-day races to finish off the calendar, including Paris-Tours in early October.
“I want to go out of the season well,” Simmons said. “It’s the team that pays us, and if the team wants me to be good at the end of the year, then that’s what I have to do.”