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Simmons withdraws from Tour; Blevins and Blunk win XCC titles

Beard wins U23 stars-and-stripes on short-track
Quinn Simmons gets up after a hard crash Wednesday during Stage 5 of the Tour de France. Simmons was forced to abandon the Tour on Sunday. (Quinn Simmons/Instagram)

Four days after a hard bike crash, Durangoan Quinn Simmons of Lidl-Trek was forced to abandon the Tour de France.

“Together with my doctor, coaches and team, we have made the decision not to start today,” Simmons said online. “Disappointed doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling. I built my whole season around arriving here in peak form but I guess that’s how this sport goes. Thanks to Lidl-Trek for the opportunity to show the world this jersey, if only for eight days it’s still super special to be at the Tour de France. Good luck boys.”

Simmons won the USA elite men’s road race national title just before the Tour began so his Lidl-Trek jersey was decorated with stars-and-stripes.

On stage 5 on Wednesday, however, Simmons crashed, ripping his jersey and shorts and the skin underneath. He was able to finish the stage and actually moved up nine spots in the general classification to 144th. Simmons continued for three more stages, riding with a bandage on his left arm, before withdrawing on Sunday before Stage 9.

“Now to Girona for some further medical checks and recovery,” Simmons said. “Then back to work (fingers crossed). Still some big goals left. American muscle out.”

Pogacar closes in on Vingegaard

Team Jumbo-Visma leader Jonas Vingegaard held on to the general classification lead on Stage 9 of the Tour, but Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) erased eight seconds and now only trails Vingegaard by 17 seconds.

Pogacar finished one spot ahead of Vingegaard on the stage, in 13th place.

Michael Woods of Isreal Premier Tech won the stage by 28 seconds.

Durangoan Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) moved into ninth in the GC (+6:45) with a 20th-place finish on Sunday.

Blevins and Blunk go two-for-two at nationals

Christopher Blevins and Savilia Blunk both won their second national title in two days on Sunday in Pennsylvania. A day after winning the elite cross-country Olympic titles at Bear Creek Mountain Resort, both Durango cyclists won short-track cross-country national titles on Sunday.

Blevins (Specialized Factory Racing) beat fellow Durangoan Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing) by two seconds to win the short-track title. Amos, meanwhile, scored his second silver in two days.

Blunk (Ford Rockrider Racing) won the elite women’s race by 21 seconds, which also included the U23 field. Gwendalyn Gibson (Trek Factory Racing) finished as the runner-up while Michaela Thompson (Team Durango Segment 28) grabbed the fifth podium spot. Bailey Cioppa (Bear National Team) finished sixth while Lauren Aggeler (Trinity Racing) placed 15th.

Carson Beard of Team Durango Segment 28, meanwhile, captured the U23 men’s short-track title in a race dominated by Durango bikers. Toby Hassett (WE Development) finished on the podium in fourth while Ivan Sippy (Team Durango Segment 28) finished sixth and Dane Grey (Team Durango Segment 28) finished seventh.