World Champion and Olympic Silver medallist in the team pursuit and now a first year pro, Steve Cummings (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago-Sacla) has begun a difficult build up to the Tour of Britain after finishing a creditable, but very unlucky 39th in the Tour of Denmark, won by Tour de France runner-up Ivan Basso.
Steve was hoping for a better place overall, but on the 2nd stage he punctured near the finish. Then, adding insult to injury, he was missed by his team car and the general support car, so finished nearly 6 minutes behind. This was a big disappointment, as Steve was in a break near the finish of stage one the day before, when the CSC team decided that their two riders in the break with Steve had to be sacrificed for Ivan Basso (who eventually won the stage, the overall and four other stages) they were reeled in. But Steve hung on and was eventually 13th on that first stage – yet his overall hopes were destroyed thanks to the puncture debacle.
Nineteenth in the time trial confirmed he had some form, despite only riding three road events in the UK and a couple of time trials since has last continental race eight weeks ago, just before he finished a close 2nd in the National RR Champs in June.
Cummings, who should be leading his team Landbouwkrediet-Colnago-Sacla in the forthcoming Tour of Britain, consulted with BC coach Simon Jones and they have chosen the most brutal build up open to him, which includes the Tour of Denmark and two other hard stage races in August.
The Tour of Denmark 3rd to 7th August
Regio Tour (Germany): 10th to 14th August
Classic CHATEAUROUX (France): 21st August
Tour du Poitou-Charentes (France): 23rd – 26th August
Tour of Britain: 30th August – 4th September
Looking back on the Danish race Twenty-four year old Steve was impressed with popularity of cycling in Denmark and also the humility and charm of Basso, who again proved what a gentleman he is. Steve said:
“The crowds in Denmark were amazing despite the diabolical weather. It rained hard nearly everyday. It was good to get back into continental racing again and to finish the race , despite hardly any racing in the past few weeks. I have some tough races coming up and want to be on good form for the Tour of Britain where I want to be at my best and get some good results. To ride in Denmark with Basso was a great experience despite my bad luck and he (Basso) surely must be one the nicest guys in the peloton. Time after time who would seek out riders who had crashed or had problems to ask how they were, a real gentleman, I am off to Germany now for the Regio Tour which I heard is a very tough race, I just hope the weather a little better!”
LATEST FROM ToB Press office:
Ready, Steady, Go for Landbouwkrediet- Colnago
The Tour of Britain are pleased to confirm the entry of Belgium Cycling Team Landbouwkrediet – Colnago in this years six stage tour, starting in Glasgow on the 30th of August.
The Belgium outfit lead by Team Manager Gerard Bulens, are confident they can build on the teams recent success, which saw them achieve five riders in the top 20 places at the Regione Wallone race. Following such success the team is looking to force themselves amongst the lead runners in The Tour of Britain.
One rider who will be searching for success is Matthieu Criquielion, the son of Claudy Criquielion who was the former World Pro Road Race Champion in 1984. Joining Matthieu for the six day race around Britain’s toughest roads will be British Olympic Medalist and World Team Pursuit Champion, Steve Cummings. Cummings, 24, is enjoying success in his first year on the road is hoping to stamp his authority amongst the tough climbs and sprints that surround the British stages.
The 2005 Tour of Britain, Landbouwkredit- Colnago Team:
1. Steve Cummings
2. Glenn D’Hollander
3. Tony Bracke
4. James Van Landschoot
5. Mathieu Criquielion
6. Jean Claude LeBeau