Surprise solution in the third stage of the Vuelta a San Juanwith departure and arrival at the Autodrómo de Villicum for 170.9 kilometres: in the last kilometre, in fact, Quinn Simmons he surprised the group and shot like a bullet in the open spaces of the racetrack, on a finishing straight that pulled upwards.
The only one who attempted to take the wheel of the Trek Segafredo rider, his third success among the professionals at just 21 years old, was the “old man” Maximilian Richeze which was only a few meters away from hooking up to the wheel of the American. Third position for Bennett, fourth for Gaviria and fifth for Giacomo Nizzolo. Daniel Oss was also in the top ten of the day, finishing in ninth position.
THE STAGE. The fraction was characterized by the long attack promoted by the Argentines Marcelo Mendez and Pedro Gordillo (Municipaldad de Rawson), Emiliano Contreras (Chimbas te Quiero), Mauricio Dominguez and Daniel Juarez (Agrupacion Virgen de Fatima), Lukas Dundic (Argentine national team) and by Chilean José Luis Rodriguez (Chile National Team).
Even today a strong wind characterized the fraction, the group gradually caught up with them all until they were compact again about thirty kilometers from the finish line. Only at the entrance to the racetrack was there an action promoted by Simone Bevilacqua of Eolo Kometa, while a fall occurred behind the group.
In the general classification, Sam Bennett remains in command with a 6 second advantage over Jakobsen, 8 over Gaviria and 10 over Giacomo Nizzolo.
Quinn Simmons is radiant and thus comments on her first victory in Argentina: «Today I set off to win, in a pure sprint I can’t play it, but in arrivals like this I can have my say. Had they caught me again, my teammate Aberasturi would have sprinted and showed that he can fight in a group sprint, as a team we were in good shape. Yesterday I asked my roommate Vacek to leave me in the top ten, I would have taken care of the rest and so it was».
As soon as we crossed the finish line we saw him shouting on the radio, we asked him what he said to his teammates. «If I reported the textual words I would end up in trouble again on the net (he jokes referring to a tweet from 2020 that had created many problems for him, ed). I thanked them because they were exceptional. My teammates spent the day going back and forth to the flagship to bring me water, they positioned me in the best possible position, they did a perfect job. I couldn’t have asked for more, I just had to finalize. Adriano Baffi has always reproached me for being too aggressive, he advised me to spare myself in the past stages to think about today. Apart from a silly crash in the first fraction, we stuck to the plan. I haven’t done any crazy things, even if it’s difficult for me to be in a group doing nothing, but “getting bored” paid off a bit. It will be tough for me to fight for the general classification, I weigh 77 kg so I can do little against the flying Colombians or an attack by Evenepoel, but with Tolhoek and Vacek we will give our best».
Sam Bennett remains in the leader’s jersey but today is the first of the beaten: «We expected an attack but from Remco. In 2021 he attacked Stybar, we were aware that this is a final that gives opportunity to the finisseurs. Even if I won the sprint it’s always frustrating not to win. Quinn however deserved the success, took the biggest risk and won. After three days as leader of the standings tomorrow I’ll try to defend the jersey but with this heat (there’s a 40° difference from home) and the climb that awaits us I don’t feel like making any promises. Obviously we will try to do the best we can with the team»..
Max Richeze, in the last race of the season, came close to success and promises to try again until the last stage: «I have a little bitterness left in my mouth, this was the first step I had in mind to look for the result. Talking to my teammates and Fernando (friend Gaviria, ed) I had declared my intentions. I have good sensations but I haven’t raced since June, I lack the change of pace to fight in a compact group sprint, I wanted to attack but Quinn got ahead of me. Kudos to him, he showed more stamina. I couldn’t close the hole, but it was close. I gave everything so I have no regrets. I’d like to do well in tomorrow’s stage too, but I don’t know what legs I’ll have. The first part is tough, we’ll see how I stay uphill, I don’t have many references and it depends on the pace at which we tackle it. The dream would be to end his career by winning the last stage, like in 2017».CopyAMP code
For the third consecutive day Giacomo Nizzolo is the best Italian at the finish line and, as soon as he catches his breath, he comments: «Anomalous arrival, hard to manage because all the sprinters were left with few men in the last 2 km, basically it was a head-to-head and whoever anticipated caught the right moment and showed great legs. Personally I was coming a bit from behind, I’m happy with the comeback, in terms of condition it wasn’t a special sprint but it wasn’t even one to throw away at this point of the season. You ask me if I was inspired by the fact that the finish line was at a racetrack that hosted the Moto GP, of which I’m a huge fan? Yes, in fact I took the penultimate corner a little too hard and I took advantage, I discovered myself a moment too soon but it was fun».
photo Sprint Cycling Agency
1. Simmons Quinn Trek-Segafredo in 3:49:30
2. Richeze Maximiliano Argentina
3. Bennett Sam BORA-hansgrohe
4. Gaviria Fernando Movistar Team
5. Nizzolo Giacomo Israel-Premier Tech
6. Sagan Peter TotalEnergie
7. Tivani Nicolas Team Corratec
8. Lampaert Yves Soudal Quick-Step
9. Oss Daniel TotalEnergies
10. Dotti Juan Pablo SEP San Juan
1. BENNETT Sam (BORA – hansgrohe) in 11:30:54
2. JAKOBSEN Fabio (Soudal – Quick Step) at 6”
3. GAVIRIA Fernando (Movistar Team) at 8”
4. NIZZOLO Giacomo (Israel – Premier Tech) at 10”
5. SAGAN Peter (TotalEnergies) at 14”
6. VAN POPPEL Danny (BORA – hansgrohe)
7. ANDRESEN Tobias Lund (Team DSM)
8. TIVANI German Nicolás (Team Corratec)
9. OSS Daniel (TotalEnergies)
10. LAMPAERT Yves (Soudal – Quick Step)