Steve Cummings closes injury hit season in style with final Beijing stage victory
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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Steve Cummings closes injury hit season in style with final Beijing stage victory

by Ben Atkins at 12:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Injury, Tour of Beijing
 
British rider’s crash-marred year ends with his second WorldTour win

Steve CummingsSteve Cummings (BMC Racing) ended his 2012 season in style with a victory in the final stage of the Tour of Beijing, between the Chang Ping Stadium and Ping Gu Centenary Square. The British rider managed to outsprint Giro d’Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) as the two of them held of the peloton into the finish, adding to the Vuelta a España stage that he took last month.

"[A fast start to the stage] normally means you'll get really strong guys in the breakaway and that's what happened," he said. "I used my strength in the right places today. I thought I would have to make two efforts; both on the two climbs. That way it's even hard for guys riding on the wheels as well as on their own. So it was great that Ryder came across because he's so strong. I knew he'd go 100 percent." 

Cummings’ two victories have been the biggest of his career to date, and have come in what has arguably been his worst season in terms of crashes and injuries. He broke his pelvis at the Volta ao Algarve in February, then broke his left wrist at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco on his return to racing in April; he then injured his left wrist at the Amgen Tour of California, but managed to recover in time to take a key role in the Tour de France team, in support of Cadel Evans and Tejay van Garderen.

Yet another crash at the Tour saw the him suffer severe road rash, and he was unfortunate to be the only British rider in the race not to win a stage.

"It's sure nice to win this way," he said of his Beijing victory.

Cummings’ directeur sportif Max Sciandri is certainly pleased to see his compatriot take his second victory, after having endured such a tough first year with the red and black American squad. The Derby-born Italo-Briton sees even more potential in the 31-year-old former Team Sky rider, as he begins to take his chances in the sport’s top echelon.

“There's no better way to close the season, especially for Steve," said Sciandri. "He had two fractures and came back. The potential is unlimited in him if he starts believing in himself even more than he does now.

“Overall, this was a good race for us,” he added. “We were in the breaks we needed to be and we contested the sprints we could.”

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