World Champions Steve Cummings and Paul Manning are both settling in well at Landbouwkrediet-Colnago. World champion team pursuiter and Athens silver medallist on the track Steve Cummings (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago and Great Britain national team), confirmed his already good reputation from his professional debut last year on the road in the top class. Cummings was in fine form on the 3rd stage of the "Etoile De Besseges" (FRANCE) the first stage race in continental Europe this year.
Steve (24) was in a long break with several other riders in the 134 km stage. Unfortunately for him two riders were from a Top French team (Francaise des Jeux) and they took advantage of their strong position to grab first and second place. Cummings was a fine 3rd after Sebastion Joly after contributing nothing of course to chasing his team-mate, eventual winner classy French hope Eric Leblacher.
Joly attacked near the end despite Cummings doing most of the chasing. However Steve also put in a great attack near the finish to only miss out 2nd pace by a tiny margin. Steve said:
"The racing here has been hard and fast everyday and very cold with snow everywhere. I felt good today and wanted to go for the stage win, however being outnumbered by FDJ but catching Leblacher was a big ask under the circumstances ,however I nearly caught his team-mate (Joly) on the line. I moved right up the General classification to 15th, but that doesn'?t mean a lot to me that far down (In time) so I will not bother to defend my overall position as a stage win is what I wanted.
"My effort left me tired but you never know. I have worked hard and I am feeling good and with the Commonwealth Games ( Track and road ) coming up in March and the Worlds track Champs in April I am optimistic about Gold medals. After those events I can concentrate on the road. I want some good wins especially with the Tour de France coming to London in 2007. I hope to be in a team that will ride the Tour that year so maybe Wiggins and Millar will not be the only British riders to look out for."
Team-mate and fellow World Champion team pursuiter Paul Manning who joined Steve's pro team this year and although 31 years of age, he is enjoying his debut with the top professionals and is settling in well. Paul felt he might be able to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves in the near future despite, like Steve, having the Commonwealth Games and World track champs coming up. Paul who has won several PRO-Amateur events on the continent riding for Great Britain was happy with his pro debut.
He said "I am enjoying riding with my new team and I am sure I will get some good chances on the road, after from the track champs coming up. The Tour of Britain will be a big target but there will be a lot of races in between. It'?s great riding for a big pro team and with Steve. I am really looking forward to this season perhaps more than I have for a long time."