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Team USA

Simmons wins USA Cycling’s First Junior Men’s Road Race World Title in 28 Years

By: Guillermo Rojas  September 26, 2019

Quinn Simmons and Magnus Sheffield go 1-3 ending a 26-year medal drought for the Junior Men in the Road Race

Yorkshire, U.K.- If you were to just turn on the T.V. and begin watching the Junior Men’s Road Race at the 2019 UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire, U.K., you might be surprised to learn that the American Riders controlling the race were only 17 or 18 years of age, most still in high school. After having a perfect race, the squad of Magnus Sheffield (Pittsford, N.Y.; HotTubes Cycling), Michael Garrison (Decatur, Ga.; LUX Cycling), Matthew Riccitello (Tuscon, Ariz.; LUX Cycling) and Gianni Lamperti (Sebastopol, Calif.; LUX Cycling) delivered race favorite, Quinn Simmons (Durango, Colo.; LUX Cycling), to the front of the race where he soloed away for a victory, marking the first time in 28 years an American male has won a Junior World Title. One minute behind him, Sheffield found the legs to sprint for third.

Simmons crossing the finish line winning the World Championship.
Simmons crossing the finish line winning the World Championship.

“This jersey is insane, it’s been a goal for years,” said Simmons after his race, “It’s what you see growing up, it’s probably one of the top prizes in cycling and to end my time as a junior with this is amazing. We’ve had some amazing years with the National Team, the guys have shown all year that they’re the strongest in the world. We had a plan; the boys rode perfect and we capped off an amazing season.”

From the beginning of the race, the U.S. National Team took to the front to control the pace. Sheffield, the 2018 Pan-American Champion in cyclocross, led the charge doing a lot of the heavy lifting along with Garrison and Riccitello. The defining move of the day happened with just under 60 kilometers to go when Sheffield and Simmons joined three other riders in a five-man break including British Rider Lewis Askey who placed second to Simmons at the Gent Wevelgem earlier this season. While Simmons and Sheffield were in the break, teammates Riccitello and Garrison stayed at the front of the peloton to control the gap.

Sheffield after taking a 4-up sprint for bronze.
Sheffield after taking a 4-up sprint for bronze.

As the break entered the circuits, Simmons rode away with 33 kilometers to go and never looked back. As Sheffield became absorbed by the peloton, he immediately went back to work with teammate Garrison to control the pace allowing the gap to grow to over a minute by the end to Simmons. While Italian rider Martinelli chased Simmons, he was unable to catch the young American rider, who has been deemed by the internet “Quinner”, taking silver. As the peloton headed into the last lap of the circuit, Sheffield could be seen looking up at the score board and smiling knowing he had done his job, but his race wasn’t over. Sheffield continued to push through the last 14 kilometers of the race, making the selection of four riders for a bunch sprint for the final place on the podium. With 200 meters left, it was Sheffield who launched the attack overtaking his competitors to join his teammate on the podium.

Simmons’ and Sheffield’s performances marked the end of a 26-year drought for the U.S. in the Junior Men’s Road Race at the World Championships. The last time the U.S. podiumed in the event was in 1993, when Mariano Friedick earned silver. An American hasn’t worn the Junior Men’s Road Race rainbow jersey since 1991, which was worn by Jeff Evanshire. USA Cycling has never had two riders on the podium for this event.

“It’s a remarkable feeling,” said Billy Innes, USA Cycling’s Junior Men’s Program Manager, “When five ride as one, it’s an amazing feeling. To get one medal at a World Championship is remarkable, to get two at a World Championship and a rainbow jersey is incredible.”

Racing continues tomorrow with the Junior Women’s Road Race followed by the U23 Men’s Race. Coverage will start at 1:30 am MT on the Olympic Channel as well as NBC Sports Gold.

To follow along with Team USA at the 2019 Road World Championships, follow @USACyclingLIVE on Twitter and @USACycling across all other platforms. For more about the 2019 UCI Road World Championships, please visit the event website at https://worlds.yorkshire.com.