Simmons eyes Tour de France hills after working for team in first week

Tour de France 2022 - 109th Edition - 2nd stage Roskilde - Nyborg 202,2 km - 02/07/2022 - Quinn Simmons (USA - Trek - Segafredo) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022
'First the goal is to be the best rider here as I can be for the first week for the team' Simmons said ahead of stage 4 (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)

Trek-Segafredo's young talent Quinn Simmons may be just four days into his Tour de France debut, but the American is already making plans and targets for the rest of the race with the hills and cobbles on his mind.

So far, the 21-year-old has put in a shift for sprinter Mads Pedersen on the two flat stages in Denmark, another feather in the cap for a rider who is quickly growing into an all-rounder capable of getting the job done on any terrain.

Following more lead-out work in the finale of Tuesday's stage 4 in Calais, Simmons and Trek-Segafredo will next turn their attention to the cobbles of Roubaix on stage 5, where teammates Mads Pedersen and Jasper Stuyven will be among the top favourites for a result in Arenberg.

"Obviously we hoped for a bit more with Mads to put on the jersey at home," Simmons said in Dunkerque. "But today we have another chance for a stage win and we're looking forward to Roubaix.

"Tomorrow we worry about tomorrow," he added, refusing to reveal any team plans ahead of the key day on the cobbles.

Stage 5 will be his first experience of the Roubaix cobbles as a pro, even if the day won't be as long or as tough as the real race. Simmons raced Paris-Roubaix as a junior, though crashed out in the wet edition of the race in 2020 and didn't take part this year.

He said that the first week of the race is all about working for the team before he can perhaps ride for his own ambitions more later on in the race.

"I mean first the goal is to be the best rider here as I can be for the first week for the team," he said. "But then you look at some of the medium mountain days maybe from a break. It'd be where my personal ambitions are."

Simmons, who hails from Durango - the same Colorada town as Jumbo-Visma climber Sepp Kuss - was touted as rouleur and one for the northern Classics when he turned pro with Trek-Segafredo straight from the junior ranks two years ago, but he has added more strings to his bow since.

This season has seen him display the best climbing yet seen during his three-year career, taking the mountain classification prizes at both Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour de Suisse. He dropped Julian Alaphilippe from the queen stage breakaway at the former and narrowly missing out on a summit finish victory from the break at the latter.

"I actually really enjoyed it," he said of the Tour de Suisse. "My body has changed a bit the last three years. I still don't know quite what I'll be good at but trying to be good at a bit of everything.

"Now I can do the lead outs and the sprints and hopefully also some good work tomorrow. For me, on some of the smaller climbs there's maybe a chance."

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