Britain’s Steve Cummings, aboard his fi’zi:k saddle, grabbed the first stage win of his career yesterday at the Tour Méditerranéen. The 32-year-old BMC rider laid the foundations for victory at Saturday’s time trial before sealing the title on Sunday.
Cummings’ Tour Méditerranéen triumph comes a week after the Brit finished second at the Dubai Tour, helping teammate Taylor Phinney to overall victory.
The race began with Thursday’s 223.5km stage from Argeles-sur-Mer to Montagnac, won by John Degenkolb of Giant-Shimano. Cummings finished in the chase group of about 90 riders.
Stage two was deja-vu as Degenkolb racked up his second win in two days, taming a hors category climb, the Petit Galibier, 25km from the line before working with the peloton to catch and pass leaders Fabio Duarte and Cyril Gautier. Cummings again finished in the pack.
Degenkolb made it three out of three on Saturday morning’s 63km stage from Lambesc to Saint Rémy de Provence, but it was the afternoon’s 18.2km time trial around the streets of Saint Rémy de Provence that set up fi’zi:k rider Cummings for overall victory. His time of 24:27mins was fastest of the day, beating Riccardo Zoidl into second place by just 4 seconds.
The result sent Cummings to the GC classification lead – and it’s a lead he didn’t relinquish on the 192.7km final stage from Bandol to Toulon despite the Herculean efforts of Jean-Christophe Peraud. The 36-year-old AG2R La Mondiale rider, who also uses fi’zi:k saddles, knocked 11 seconds off Cummings’ lead on the way to winning the stage but it was 4 seconds shy of taking the overall crown.
‘It was so close, I went way over my limit,’ Cummings said after the race. ‘I just did my best and luckily it was good enough.’