Tour of Med: Cummings Fighting Win on Faron


On the slopes of Mount Faron, Steve Cummings fought like a British bull dog when under attack to hold on and win the Tour of Med with 4th

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Cummings Fighting Win on Faron

TouroftheMed_SteveCummingsAfter a day when a break of four with Raleigh’s Mark Christian in it led the race until the final obstacle of the day, it was on Mount Faron that the Tour of Med was decided.

Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R La Mondiale) soloed to win the stage, five seconds ahead of Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagne-Seche Environnement).

Despite attacks from various rivals close to him on GC, including Peraud, Steve Cummings (BMC) held on with a brave show of force to finish 4th on the stage behind Jean Christophe Peraud and win the overall by just four seconds.

Steve after winning said “I just did my best and luckily it was enough. Yes, I’m afraid when my rivals attack me but I can only go as fast as I can go.”

“It was close and I went way over my limit! I was pretty fresh at the bottom and I’m delighted for everyone with the win. I thought at the start I could do a good GC, and was looking at the time trial and taking it day by day.”

“Every day I was getting more and more drawn into it, staying at the front and the time trial went great and today was the icing on the cake. I just keep trying to improve and working with the team and it’s a great start to the season. Hopefully it will continue like that.”

“I have been like this for a few years but maybe I wasn’t in the right races or didn’t have the right programme and now we’ve had a bit of a change of management and they are putting me in more races well suited to me which is good. Targetting tme trials and so on, it’s given me knew motivation. I now fo Haut Var, Paris Nice Circuit de Sarthe and I’m not sure after at”.

Cumming’s victory came after a battle royal on Mont Faron. The attacks began early as the riders stormed onto the steep grades of Mont Faron, and with three kilometers to go it was Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagne-Seche Environnement) in front with 15″ over a yellow jersey group of 15 riders, which also included Trek’s Riccardo Zoidl (3rd overall).

The relentless pace took its toll and a final attack shattered the lead group with just over two kilometres to go.

At the end only Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R La Mondiale) had the legs to launch the final winning move, bridging to Sepulveda, and then soloing ahead to the stage win. Sepulveda hung on for second, five seconds back, as Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling) and the yellow jersey of Steve Cummings (BMC Racing) crossed six seconds later for third and fourth respectively.

It was enough for Cummings to hold onto his lead and win the overall of the Tour Méditerranéen. Behind Zoidl, who had been Cummings closest challenger after the time trial,  kept the leaders in sight, riding his own pace to the line, and placed 6th on the stage, six seconds after Cummings and 17 seconds slower than stage winner Péraud.

“The attack from the front group happened with 2.5 kilometers to go,” said Zoidl after the race. “They attacked, and I kept my rhythm and just stayed 5-10 seconds behind them, and it stayed that way to the finish. It was better for me to keep my own pace, otherwise I knew I could lose more time.”

“I did not feel any stress at the start, but it was stressful going into the climb as everyone was fighting for position to be first,” continued Zoidl. “The last 40kms, the whole team (Trek) was always in the front. They did a good job for me, especially in the last turn into the climb I was in 5th position, and so I have to say a big thanks to the team.

Time Trial was Key for Cummings

Cummings rode into the overall lead of the four-day, five-stage race by winning Saturday’s 18.2-kilometre individual time trial to take a four-second lead over Riccardo Zoidl (Trek Factory Racing) and 10 seconds over Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) into the 192.7-km final stage.

Helping Cummings score the BMC Racing Team’s fifth win of the season was Ben Hermans – who himself finished ninth overall – Yannick Eijssen, Norwegian national road champion Thor Hushovd, Klaas Lodewyck, Amaël Moinard, Taylor Phinney and Larry Warbasse.

The BMC Racing Team made sure the race was back together by the base of the final climb by chasing down a four-man breakaway with Raleigh’s Mark Christian that led by six minutes at one point.

Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said the team’s performance – which included a runner-up finish by Hushovd in Saturday morning’s road race – was “perfect” from start to finish.

“I think today is one big victory for the team,” he said. “It was an important victory for Steve and for the team. Now I think all the guys are 100 percent ready for the next races: for Tirreno-Adriatico, for Paris-Nice and for Milan-San Remo.

The win was Cummings’ first stage race victory in 10 seasons as a professional and added to his runner-up finish overall (to Phinney) at the Dubai Tour earlier this month.

1 CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team 16:31:59
2 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R La Mondiale 00:04
3 ZOIDL Riccardo Trek Factory Racing 00:10
4 SEP̼LVEDA Eduardo Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement 00:28
5 LUDVIGSSON Tobias Team Giant-Shimano 00:56
6 DEGAND Thomas Wanty – Groupe Gobert ,,
7 CHAVANEL Sylvain IAM Cycling 01:01
8 SILIN Egor Team Katusha ,,
9 HERMANS Ben BMC Racing Team 01:18
10 BONGIORNO Francesco Manuel Bardiani – CSF 01:29

31 BOULO Matthieu Team Raleigh 03:28
97 HOOGERLAND Johnny Androni Giocattoli 16:32
105 BARKER Yanto Team Raleigh 19:17
106 PHINNEY Taylor BMC Racing Team 19:22
122 HUSHOVD Thor BMC Racing Team 25:26
123 VOECKLER Thomas Team Europcar 26:27
124 WILKINSON Ian Team Raleigh 26:31
126 CHRISTIAN Mark Team Raleigh 28:16
132 OLIPHANT Evan Team Raleigh 31:11
142 ATKINS George Team Raleigh 41:39
143 KNEISKY Morgan Team Raleigh 42:27

1 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R La Mondiale 4:57:53
2 SEP̼LVEDA Eduardo Bretagne РS̩ch̩ Environnement 00:05
3 DENIFL Stefan IAM Cycling 00:11
4 CUMMINGS Stephen BMC Racing Team
5 SILIN Egor Team Katusha 00:17
6 ZOIDL Riccardo Trek Factory Racing
7 DEGAND Thomas Wanty – Groupe Gobert 00:21
8 BONGIORNO Francesco Manuel Bardiani – CSF 00:24
9 BETANCUR Carlos Alberto AG2R La Mondiale 00:29
10 PELLIZOTTI Franco Androni Giocattoli

11 REBELLIN Davide CCC Polsat Polkowice
20 CHAVANEL Sylvain IAM Cycling 01:02
32 BOULO Matthieu Team Raleigh 1.32
72 BARKER Yanto Team Raleigh 3.33
82 VOECKLER Thomas Team Europcar 04:24
90 HOOGERLAND Johnny Androni Giocattoli 05:34
102 OLIPHANT Evan Team Raleigh 06:36
113 KNEISKY Morgan Team Raleigh 7.39
125 ATKINS George Team Raleigh 10.20
127 CHRISTIAN Mark Team Raleigh
135 WILKINSON Ian Team Raleigh


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