Sean Quinn powers his way to first pro win
Young American takes stage two of Coppi e Bartali with help of teamwork from James Shaw
Sean Quinn took his first pro win on stage two of Coppi e Bartali putting in an amazing ride along with teammate James Shaw in the closing stages of the race.
“It's quite a relief to get this first win to be honest,” said Sean. “I’ve missed out on a few opportunities in the past, so it feels great to finally get that win.”
The second stage of Coppi e Bartali was not one for the faint of heart. With 172.5km from Riccione to Longiano, the stage included four challenging laps on a finishing circuit that featured climbs on the Roncofreddo (6.8km at 3.6%) and Bivio Monteleone, and a finishing climb atop Muro del Belvedere (900m at 10.5%) in Longiano.
“The whole team rode super well,” said the 22-year-old American. “We had seven guys in the last 50 kilometers. And then Mark and Georg set us up in a really good position. With about 20 k left, James Shaw and I followed a move and all of a sudden, we realized we had a huge gap and the guys in the group behind kept saying on the radio ‘no one's chasing. It's looking good. Keep going, guys.’"
Sean and James were part of a small group of riders that went clear of the bunch on the finishing circuits. They quickly built up a healthy lead over the chasing peloton behind with Sean setting a strong tempo on the climbs and James pushing the pace on the flats. With one lap remaining, it was anyone's race and Sean knew it was going to be a tactical finish.
On the final climb up the Muro del Belvedere, both Sean and James got distance from the leaders – Mauro Schmid (Soudal-QuickStep), Walter Calzoni (Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team) – but they gritted their teeth and slowly closed the gap. As soon as they were back together, with only a few hundred meters to go, Sean knew the stage was his. He went straight to the front and, as soon as he could see the finish, launched his sprint, taking the win in dominant fashion.
“When the two guys attacked on the final climb and got a little bit of a gap on James and I knew we could come back in the last few hundred meters,” said Sean. “I've been in situations like that before, where you just go overboard too early. And maybe I could have followed him at first. But I trusted that I had the legs and that I could come back a bit later. But it was hard. I had to suffer a bit.”
Sean has turned heads ever since he entered the WorldTour last year and we knew it was a matter of time before he got his first pro win.
“Winning is nothing without the people around you,” said Sean after the finish. “I just want to say a huge thank you to the team, the staff, my teammates and everyone who has supported me throughout the low points over the last couple of years.”
It was an amazing display of teamwork and determination from our guys in Italy. With three more stages to go, Sean now sits in second overall, with James Shaw, Mark Padun and Stefan de Bod behind him all in the top ten as well.
Let's get it!