Tour of Beijing: Cummings wins the stage, Martin the Overall

Britain’s Steve Cummings won his second World Tour stage this season in Beijing while Tony Martin wins the overall for 2nd year in a row

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Steve Cummings from the Wirral near Liverpool out-sprinted Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) to win the final stage of the Tour of Beijing Saturday.

Photo:  (c)Tim De Waele/OPQS 

Already a stage winner at the Vuelta a España this year, Cummings picked up his second victory of the season by first making a 12-man breakaway and then going off alone with the Giro d’Italia winner up the final climb, down the descent and onto the finish of the 182.5 kilometer race.

The pair never enjoyed more than a 45-second lead over a chasing group of 28 riders that ultimately finished 17 seconds behind them. Cummings ended up 21st overall while Mathias Frank in 16th was the BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider in the overall standings.

‘Nice To Win This Way’
Cummings, who also won Stage 13 of the Vuelta a España, said everything fell into place. It began with a hard start to the last day of racing in the five-day event. “That normally means you’ll get really strong guys in the breakaway and that’s what happened,” he said. “I used my strength in the right places today. I thought I would have to make two efforts – both on the two climbs.”

“That way it’s even hard for guys riding on the wheels as well as on their own. So it was great that Ryder came across because he’s so strong. I knew he’d go 100 percent.” Cummings overcame a number of injuries and mishaps this season before his solo victory at the Vuelta. He broke his left wrist at Vuelta al Pais Vasco, broke his pelvis at the Volta ao Algarve, injured his left wrist at the Amgen Tour of California and suffered severe road rash when he crashed at the Tour de France. “It’s sure nice to win this way,” he said.

Frank In Top 20 Overall
Mathias Frank, in 16th place, was the BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider in the overall standings as Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) captured the overall for the second straight year. Frank was riding at the back of the group that was chasing the leading pair all the way to the line. “The guys I was with were chasing full gas, but those two were riding so strongly,” Frank said. “As far as the race overall for me, it was OK. I had a couple good stages and am pretty happy.”

Second Overall Win for Tony Martin

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team executed the plan of protecting Tony Martin — sitting in the GC lead since his Stage 2 solo victory of Tour of Beijing — to perfection. Tony Martin won the overall for the 2nd year in a row by 40″ at the end of the 182.5km Stage 5 on Saturday. Tour of Beijing began in 2011.

Steve Cummings (BMC Racing Team) won the stage, beating breakaway companion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) to the line. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky ProCycling) was 3rd in the chase group, and as a result, he moved into 3rd in the GC. Francesco Gavazzi (Astana Pro Team) finished 2nd overall to Tony Martin.

Hesjedal bridged to the lead group, and then was alone with Cummings. The duo had more than 20″ on a chase group into the final km. OPQS did a fantastic job, as they did since Tony Martin was in the GC lead, of protecting the race leader, and Dario Cataldo was with Tony Martin in the final kilometers.

“I am super happy — over the moon,” Martin said. “With this victory we rode technically really well as a team. We were always very clever. We never lost control of the race. It was a great day for us where everybody did their best. We had good legs and were really strong as a team.”

“I really think this week I had a great team around me. I was never in trouble. Today, for example, I was always in the top 10 position in the group. I rode carefully without losing my objective, which was to win the GC. We came here with a lot of ambitions, as did a lot of teams and riders, but we had good tactics and were able to do what we hoped for.”

“Yesterday was the first stage where I did not feel 100 percent, but I survived with the help of my teammates. Today I found my good legs again, so I am happy. I think maybe the one or two big injuries I had this year made a difference in the final part of the season. I was a little bit fresher. The condition was there and I could work without problem.”

“In the last weeks I was thinking about the World Championships and then this race. When you win two times in a row, like the TT World Championship or Tour of Beijing, it’s something special. It gives me a lot more trust in myself. I trained well during the Vuelta, so now the results are there. It’s perfect. I will race the Chrono des Nations on Sunday the 21st, and then will stay at home and take a little bit of rest, enjoying life with my family.”

OPQS ends the UCI WorldTour Season ranked 4th, with 1162 points. Tom Boonen finished the season 3rd in the UCI WorldTour individual classification with 410 points. Tony Martin, with his overall victory at Tour of Beijing, ends the UCI WorldTour season in 28th place (171 points). The third top WorldTour rider for OPQS, Niki Terpstra, ends the season in 31st place (160 points).

“Congratulations to everyone again for this beautiful season,” OPQS Manager Patrick Lefevere said. “It’s nice to open and close the season with a victory as we did this year. I was present in Beijing and everybody did a great effort.”

“Even the guys who led the team, which for us shows this team is really united. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to place between 5th and 9th in the WorldTour classification. We finished 4th, so we finished ahead of our goal ranking. We will now take some days of rest, and then we will start working hard once again to prepare for next season.”


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