Commonwealth Games Gold medallist?s Steve Cummings and Paul Manning return regularly to continental road scene with their Landbouwkrediet?Colnago team – Monday 1st May in the classic “Grand Prix Frankfurt”. Their recent successful track campaign saw the pair win seven medals in the Commonwealth Games and World Track Championships. However after only riding two road events in 2 months they might be a little “road rusty” having also taken a very short break from training. However the pair cannot wait to race again in some of Europe?’s biggest races.
Steve Cummings (25) whose 2nd place in the Italian semi classic Trofeo Laiguelia to the seasons biggest revelation Alessandro Ballan (Who is now lying 3rd in the Pro Tour standings.) which was also the best performance by a British pro this year, was eager to get back on with things.
He said: “It was in some-ways difficult to leave the road racing scene to concentrate on the track for such a long period especially as I had proved I had very good form. It was a commitment I had to make and have no regrets, I gave it 101%. However it was unfortunate to come at a time when I was breaking through on the continent. I cannot wait to get some races under my belt and find my road form again. Hopefully with hard work it will not take too long. After the German classic we go to the Dunkirk Five day (3rd to 7th May) and at the end of the following week the 3-day Tour of Picardie. We might be riding the Tour of Belgium or some other races, then ride the Tour of Luxembourg at the beginning of June. I hope I will get in great condition again soon and get some success so I can ride in a Pro -Tour team next year.”
Paul Manning (32) had similar ambitions at least in the short term. The winner of the Individual Gold medal in the Commonwealth Games and the Gold medal in the Team Pursuit as was Steve, not to mention a individual Bronze medal in the World Championship where he recorded the fastest time. Paul has taken a big step up in World pursuiting. Now being in the Worlds top three riders in that event.
Paul said: “I feel the same as Steve in a lot of ways, despite my recent success on the track I cannot wait to race on the road again, helping Steve reach his goals and if I am “feeling lucky” take some opportunities myself. However because of circumstances we have to play catch-up, so it will be good to get a few races in and hopefully things will happen.”