If you’re a fan of Trek Segafredo’s American ‘enfant terrible,’ former Junior World Road Race Champion, Quinn Simmons then you’ll be pleased to know that ‘little bruv,’ former US Junior Road Race Champion Colby is with the top line Jumbo-Visma Development team, and at 19 years-old posting promising results for the Dutch Continental team.
Simmons senior is 21 years-old now and getting stronger and more aggressive as each year passes – and also developing into a man who can tackle the hills, witness King of the Mountains in Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour de Suisse.
He debuts in 2023 at the Tour of San Juan in Argentina later this month and he’ll be tackling the Ardennes Classics this year. The Simmons Boys got us to thinking about ‘Brothers in Arms’ in the sport.
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INEOS have added ‘Brit,’ Ethan Hayter’s younger brother, 21 years-old Leo to their line-up.
Big brother is 24 years-old now and already a big winner, the Tour of Norway and British Elite Time Trial Championship among his fine road palmarès for 2022 at just 24 years-of-age.
Meanwhile, on the boards, he’s World Omnium Champion and a member of the winning GB Worlds Team Pursuit squad.
Leo ‘did a Pidcock,’ in the 2022 Baby Giro, winning the Queen Stage, another stage and taking the GC. He was third in the Worlds iTT in Australia and is certainly one to watch in 2023.
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But let’s go back a decade or two to the 60’s and the most famous ‘band of brothers,’ that ever rode together; four of them, the mighty Pettersson brothers from Sweden – Gosta, Tomas, Sture and Erik.
Three times they won the World 100 Kilometre TTT title, 1967, 68 and 69 but were denied the Olympic title in Mexico in 1968 by a very strong Dutch quartet which included Fedor Den Hertog and Joop Zoetemelk.
The brothers turned pro in 1970 with Italian kitchen company, Ferretti; Gosta won the Tour of Romandie, finished third in the Tour de France and with brother Tomas, the then very prestigious, two-up TTT the Trofeo Baracchi.
In 1971 Gosta reached the pinnacle of his career, winning the Giro d’Italia from Van Springel and Colombo. Gosta was the undoubted best of the four, after his three seasons with Ferretti he rode for SCIC in ’73 and Magniflex in ’74; Tomas followed him to SCIC but Sture finished after his three years with Ferretti whilst Erik only raced two years with the blue and white team.
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But the Petterssons are not alone in being four brothers to race with success in the professional world, the Simon brothers, Francois, Jerome, Pascal and Regis all enjoyed success in their home race, the Tour de France.
Francois held the yellow jersey for three days in 2001, Jerome won a stage in 1988, Regis won a stage in 1985 whilst Pascal won a stage in 1982 and but for a crash and broken shoulder in the 1983 Tour with the yellow jersey on his back might just have won that Tour.
He soldiered on for another six days in extreme pain but eventually had to abandon.
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Then there were the four Moser brothers, Aldo, Diego, Enzo and Francesco.
Diego and Enzo had unremarkable careers but Aldo was a ‘chronoman’ of note in the late 50’s with two wins in the Trofeo Baracchi and a win in the GP des Nations.
The most famous of the quartet however was the prolific and versatile Francesco, in the 70’s and 80’s he accumulated 273 road victories, six Giro podium finishes including one win; five Trofeo Baracchi, three Paris-Roubaix; two Tours of Lombardy; a Milan-Sanremo; Gent-Wevelgem; world titles in the Road Race and Pursuit – and of course, the Hour Record.
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Staying with la Bella Italia, there were the three Saronni Brothers; Alberto’s career was unspectacular and whilst Antonio was no star on the road he was a solid cyclo-cross rider with multiple podium finishes including four wins in the Italian Nationals.
The most successful of the three though was Francesco Moser’s bitter rival, Giuseppe who won two Giros, two Trofeo Baracchi, Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Lombardy and the Worlds in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
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The toughest, wiliest trio of brothers who ever put a leg over a bicycle have to be The Planckaerts, Flemish to the core, hard, cunning men.
Willy is the oldest, he took stages in the Giro and Tour, with the green jersey his in 1966. The middle brother is Walter who won the most important race in the world if you’re Belgian – de Ronde. And there was The Amstel, E3, Dwars door twice and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne twice – no ‘soft’ wins there.
The ‘baby’ of the three is Eddy who has the best palmarès of all; he emulated Willy in taking a Tour green jersey and took Giro and Vuelta stages too.
He emulated Walter in winning de Ronde but added Paris-Roubaix – by millimetres from Steve Bauer – two E3’s and two Het Volks.
Few of the hardest Northern Classics evaded this trio. It’s not always the case but often the ‘udder brudder’ is there to just give moral support, fetch bottles and not much else.
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Prudencio Indurain is four years the junior of legendary brother Miguel and spent six years ‘in service’ to the first man to win five consecutive Tours de France.
Miguel wheeled off to the team hotel on Stage 13 of the 1996 Vuelta and that was the end of his career. Whilst his ’96 Tour was a disaster by his own standards – 11th place; remember that this was a season where he’d won the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal, the Vuelta Asturias, the Euskal Bizikleta, Dauphine and Olympic Time Trial title.
Prudencio did have a few wins in minor Portuguese and Spanish races; he spent ’97 with Banesto then had two years at Vitalicio Seguros before he followed Miguel into retirement.
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Then there’s Dayer Quintana, two years the junior of 32 years-old Nairo and winner of the 2015 Tour of San Juan in Argentina; and whilst he’s had wins in Columbia since then, his main function these last seven years has been, ‘to be there for Nairo,’ through his tenure at Movistar then Arkea.