Log In

Reset Password

Simmons set to debut in Tour de France

The 21-year-old will be the youngest competitor
Quinn Simmons participates in the Tour de France's team presentation this week. Simmons will make his debut in the Tour on Friday, and will be the youngest competitor in this year’s field. (Quinn Simmons/Instagram)

Durangoan Quinn Simmons will make his Tour de France debut this year with Trek Segafredo when the race starts Friday in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“It’s pretty cool,” Simmons said. “It’s something I’ve waited my whole career for.”

In his most recent race, the Tour de Suisse, Simmons won the King of the Mountain title. “It wasn’t the plan, but once the opportunity was there, it was definitely something we wanted to maintain,” he said.

Simmons grabbed the KOM points lead on the first stage of the race and never let it go.

“The main goal was preparing for this month, but it was nice to have something to aim for to keep a bit more motivation and win a small prize at the end,” he said.

His performance there also cemented his place on Trek Segafredo’s Tour de France roster.

“The whole year, I knew if it went well, I’d be going, but of course I had to prove myself, and that was the final check mark to make it happen,” Simmons said.

Simmons, who turned 21 on May 8, will also be the youngest cyclist in this year’s Tour de France.

“That’s also a cool accomplishment for me personally,” Simmons said.

American Kevin Vermarke of Team DSM is the only other cyclist who is 21, but is six months older than Simmons. Those two riders will be the first competitors in the Tour de France who were born in the 21st century.

Five other cyclists from the USA also will race in this year’s Tour, including fellow Durangoan Sepp Kuss (Jumbo Visma), Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team), Joe Dombrowski (Astana Qazaqstan Team) and Neilson Powless (EF Education-EasyPost).

France (32) and Belgium (18) will have the most cyclists in the field.

Festivities began this week, including a team presentation in front of fans in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the race will begin.

“The team presentation I feel was on a different level, but now we’re trying to keep everything the same,” he said.

He said his team will be going for yellow the first week and then after that, see how the race progresses.

The team’s goal, “is to see (Mads Pederson) in yellow for a few days, then we’ll go stage hunting in the mountains,” he said. “We’ll be there and do what we can.”

The first week will be stressful because of wind and a tough early stage.

“The focus will be to get through that safely,” Simmons said. “We’ll take it day by day and see how it goes.”

Tadej Pagacar of UAE Team Emirates has won the past two Tours and is a favorite again this year.

“I think it will be hard for anyone to beat him,” Simmons said. “He’s just better than every one, and he’s riding on a different level.”

Personally, Simmons said he wants to “get through it well.”

“Riding into Paris will be something,” he said, referring to the Tour’s final stage on July 24. “I’ve been waiting for that a long time, and I’m excited to get there.”