The Time Trials are finished and now we’re in to the Road Races. The familiar sight of the Peloton comes to the stunning countryside of North Yorkshire and the weather which has plagued the riders all week showed no sign of relenting.
As with each race this week, it was an absolute cracker and one which was planned to perfection by USA and more importantly, Quinn Simmons.
Team USA rode a fantastic race and it’s fair to say that Quinn may not have won the race the way he did without a stellar ride by USA Team mate Magnus Sheffield. Who, for me, was the rider of the day.
Magnus showed incredible power and endurance to smash the peloton to pieces as USA effectively set out a team time trial. USA went on the attack with Sheffield and Simmons. The pair brought the trio of Carlos Rodríguez (Spain), Lewis Askey (Great Britain) and Pavel Bittner (Czech Republic) with them as Italy organised a chase in the peloton.
With 33km to go, Simmons stamped on the pedals and broke clear, Askey was not able to keep pace and cracked, dropping back in to the peloton. Simmons broke away to 50 seconds clear of the peloton.
As Simmons passed the finish line for the penultimate time, Italian Martinelli had closed to within 35 seconds but that is pretty much as close as he got for the remainder of the race. Attacks flew from the chasing peloton, with riders sensing that chances of a medal were getting smaller.
Simmons was so relaxed that he was waving to the crowd and his team mates in their hotel as he was closing in on the rainbow jersey. Not quite to the same level of Lance Armstrong winning his first rainbow jersey but it did have shades of it.
There was a side story to this race though and it wasn’t to do with the winner, it was with an 18 year old Columbian rider, German Dario Gomez Beccera. Left at the side of the road with a puncture the young Columbian broke down in to tears as all the team cars and neutral service went by. German Dario then was left pushing his bike uphill with his rear wheel in his hand thinking the race had passed him by. His second team car was way back eventually getting him a new tyre and back on the road. German broke the hearts of all watching and thankfully managed to get back on and finish the race, somewhat 16 minutes down on the eventual winner.
If this race didn’t get you excited by the road raced to come, then I feel that cycling may not be the sport for you. Maybe you should try fishing, or something.
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