Opportunistic Steve Cummings wins Tirreno-Adriatico stage four
Brit attacks late to earn victory; stage five cancelled due to snow
Britain’s Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) admitted his Tirreno-Adriatico stage four victory was down to opportunism rather than pre-planning.
The Liverpool-born ace grabbed his first win of 2016, in his first race of the season, after attacking from the front group with just three kilometres to race.
The 34-year-old had previously been happy to ride at the back of the breakaway, martialling the move in a bid to set up team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen from the chasing group behind.
But when it became apparent the gap would not be closing, Cummings seized the initiative to steal victory with team-mate Natnael Berhane finishing third to cap a great day.
“The plan for the day was to ride for Edvald,” Cummings admitted. “In the final when it was just a select group we were trying to close down all the attacks and keep the race together so he could sprint for the victory.
“When I got away with Pucchio and Montaguti in the final I didn’t ride on the front because we had Edvald behind.
“Then Natnael came across and the other guys just kept riding and we sat on. With 3km to go though I saw the victory was being served up on a platter for me as the group behind wasn’t coming back, so I took it, I knew I could stay away.
“I am happy the team could get the win today, we had the numbers today and it worked out really well for us. It’s a great win for the team, for our sponsors and for Qhubeka.”
The win is Cummings’ third since joining the African team, adding to victories at Challenge Mallorca and the Tour de France in 2015.
It is also his first UCI WorldTour win, as a WorldTour rider, since he won the final stage of the 2012 Tour of Beijing in BMC Racing colours.
Zdenek Stybar held on to the blue jersey, meanwhile, finishing in the vastly reduced peloton 25 seconds behind Cummings.
And with Sunday’s stage five being cancelled in accordance with the new UCI foul weather protocols, due to heavy snow on Monte san Vicino, the Czech ace now finds himself two stages from victory.
A flat stage six, with a slight uphill finish, and a short individual time trial are all that remain, with Stybar nine seconds clear of BMC Racing trio Damiano Caruso, Greg van Avermaet and Tejay van Garderen.
Tirreno-Adriatico 2016: stage four – result
1) Steve Cummings (GBR) – Team Dimension Data – 6.04.49hrs
2) Salvatore Puccio (ITA) – Team Sky +13”
3) Natnael Berhane (ERI) – Dimension Data – ST
4) Daniel Moreno (ESP) – Movistar
5) Jan Bakelants (BEL) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
6) Matteo Montaguti (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +16”
7) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Tinkoff +25”
8) Greg van Avermaet (BEL) – BMC Racing – ST
9) Tiesj Benoot (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal
10) Zdenek Stybar (CZE) – Etixx-QuickStep
1) Zdenek Stybar (CZE) – Etixx-QuickStep – 15.56.32hrs
2) Damiano Caruso (ITA) – BMC Racing +9”
3) Greg van Avermaet (BEL) – BMC Racing – ST
4) Tejay van Garderen (USA) – BMC Racing
5) Bob Jungels (LUX) – Etixx-QuickStep +11”
6) Gianluca Brambilla (ITA) – Etixx-QuickStep – ST
7) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Tinkoff +14”
8) Thibaut Pinot (FRA) – FDJ +18”
9) Sebastien Reichenbach (SUI) – FDJ – ST
10) Roman Kreuziger (CZE) – Tinkoff +20”
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