Race Report & Gallery – Steve Cummings wins the Tour of Britain

All images ©www.CyclingShorts.cc | www.chrismaher.co.uk

Steve Cummings clinched overall victory in the Tour of Britain at the end of the London Stage presented by TfL, finishing safely within the bunch to seal the Yellow Jersey presented by Eisberg, as Caleb Ewan sprinted to victory.

The Brit, who took the jersey after Stage Six in Devon, crossed the line on Regent Street St James in 17th position as the bunch fought out the victory at the end of the 16-lap circuit race.

Cummings is the second British rider to win the modern incarnation of the Tour of Britain, following Sir Bradley Wiggins’ victory in 2013.  Cummings also wins the Adnams Best British Rider prize.

Behind Cummings there was no change on the overall classification, with BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis second at 26-seconds and Team Giant Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin third a further 12-seconds in arrears.

Lotto Soudal’s Tony Gallopin took fourth with 2014 Tour of Britain winner Dylan Van Baarle in fifth.  Team Sky’s Ben Swift was the other Brit in the top 10, finishing eighth.


Interview – Steve Cummings – 2016 Tour of Britain Winner by Cycling Shorts

2016’s Tour of Britain winner Steve Cummings of Dimension Data chats to the media post race. All content & Images ©www.CyclingShorts.cc | www.ChrisMaher.co.uk

I’m delighted. Finally I can smile and enjoy it. It’s been a tough week. It was so close that it wasn’t done until I crossed the line,” said Cummings afterwards

I’d to thank all my team-mates for keeping me out of trouble, and the British public for supporting every day like they have. It’s been a great week.

It’s a bit overwhelming, I just want to but a baseball cap on and a hood up and disappear now for a while and get back out of the way.

Steve Cummings

Tour of Britain 2016 Yellow Jersey Winner

Orica BikeExchange’s 22-year-old sprinter Caleb Ewan took his first win on British roads, becoming the ninth different stage winner of the week in a highly competitive Tour of Britain.  Lotto Soudal’s Jen Debusschere had taken a flyer coming through Trafalgar Square in the final kilometre and at one stage looked like holding his advantage to the line, but such was the speed of Ewan that the young Australian rocketed past, with Dylan Groenewegen also coming past for second.

Groenewegen’s runner up spot, his fourth top ten of the week, helped him into the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Jersey.

In the Yodel Sprints classification An Post Chain Reaction’s Jasper Bovenhuis took the jersey, joining the day’s breakaway once again to mop up the jersey after the first of three intermediate Yodel Sprints.  Bovenhuis’ final advantage was 12-points over Andre Greipel, but the German did win the overall HIGH5 Combativity Award in a week that saw him win a stage and on several occasions light up the Tour of Britain with his attacking riding.

With no SKODA King of the Mountains points on offer in London Xandro Meurisse enjoyed a final day in the jersey, adding that classification win to his seventh place overall.

Steve Cummings leads Tour of Britain heading into final stage

Steve Cummings survived a penultimate stage assault from BMC Racing Team’s Rohan Dennis to head to London for the final stage of the Tour of Britain wearing the Yellow Jersey presented by Eisberg of race leader.

Having come second, behind Tony Martin, in the morning’s time trial, Dennis attacked late on in the afternoon’s second part of the Bristol Stage presented by OVO Energy to take the win and to haul himself to within 26-seconds of the overall lead.

Behind Cummings came in 15th within a group six seconds back after a frantic chase of lone leader Dennis across the Clifton Downs to limit the BMC rider’s advantage.

It was a tough two stages, First off in the morning the conditions were treacherous really with the rain so I was happy to get that done and limit my losses. Luckily the weather improved in the afternoon so that was less of a concern it was just about not losing the race at the start and being attentive at the end. I had two people I had to follow and I let one go but it wasn’t that I just fell asleep it was that I didn’t have the legs to do it! I still limited my losses though and kept the jersey so it’s a good day for everyone.

Steve Cummings

Team Dimension Data

Dennis had responded to an acceleration from Tom Dumoulin on the final of six ascents of Bridge Valley Road after the peloton had caught a four rider break containing Andre Greipel, who won the HIGH5 Combativity Award for Stage Seven, on the last of those circuits.

The former UCI World Hour Record holder went clear as the climb stiffened, showing further good climbing form in a week that has seen him star on the ascents of The Struggle in Cumbria (Stage Two) and Haytor in Devon (Stage Six).  Dennis then put his time trialling abilities to the fore to hold off the 20-plus rider group behind.

Coming into the final kilometre on the Downs Cummings put in a big effort to close down Dennis and limit his losses, briefly gapping his rivals before fading slightly in the final few hundred metres for a safe 15th position.

Looking ahead to Stage Eight, the London Stage presented by TfL, Rohan Dennis was pestimistic about his chances of overturning Cummings’ advantage.

To pick up 26-seconds it means I’d have to go off the front and win the stage, and with at least four teams there that would want it to be a bunch sprint that’s pretty unlikely to be honest. The first plan will probably be just to make sure we don’t lose second and then if there is an opportunity to take time off Steve then I’ll take it, but with his team it’ll be tough they’re pretty experienced and riding the front and closing down anything that’s dangerous.

Rohan Dennis

Team BMC Racing

The stage win does though move Dennis into the lead of the Chain Reaction Cycles Points classification with a six-point advantage over Dumoulin. Dutch national champion Dylan Groenewegen lies a further two points in arrears, and looks the favourite for the jersey should the final stage end in a bunch sprint, as expected.

The Yodel Sprints Jersey will go down to the final day, with An Post Chain Reaction’s Jasper Bovenhuis holding a six-point lead over Greipel, with nine points to play for at three intermediate Yodel Sprints during the 16-lap London stage.

One classification that was sealed in Bristol is the SKODA King of the Mountains Jersey, with Wanty Group Gobert’s Xandro Meurisse extending his lead over Nicolas Roche and completing his hold on the jersey that he took on Stage Two in Cumbria.

In the morning’s Alpecin Time Trial Tony Martin had ridden to the victory, clocking an 18-minutes and 6-second lap to beat Dennis by 3-seconds for the second stage win of the week for Etixx Quick-Step, with Olympic Games Silver medallist Tom Dumoulin in third.

Having twice finished second overall in the Tour of Britain (2008 and 2011), Cummings heads to London on the verge of history and becoming the first Brit since Sir Bradley Wiggins in 2013 to win his national Tour.

Speaking after the Bristol Stage presented by OVO Energy which again saw hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the roadside for the seventh day, Steve Cummings said;

All week the crowds have been fantastic here in Britain, people are loving their cycling now and it’s a really cool thing because it’s free to watch and it’s a cool way to get around being on a bike! You get a buzz and you get goosebumps from the crowds and they push you on so it’s great.

Steve Cummings

Team Dimension Data

The Tour of Britain concludes in central London on Sunday 11 September with the London Stage presented by TfL featuring 16-laps of a 6-kilometre circuit taking in the world-famous landmarks of Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.  Stage Eight gets underway at 1430, with live coverage of the Tour of Britain on ITV4 from 1400 to 1700.

Steve Cummings takes the Tour of Britain lead on Dartmoor

Steve Cummings crossed the summit of the Haytor climb in Devon and into the Yellow Jersey presented by Eisberg as leader of the Tour of Britain at the end of the sixth stage, as Team Sky’s Wout Poels took the stage win in the South West.

Poels led the way, striking out with 1.5-kilometres to go to cross the summit alone for the victory, his third Tour of Britain stage win.

Behind Team Dimension Data man Cummings was amid a gaggle of chasers, crossing the line alone in eighth, at 21-seconds , but with more than enough in hand over previous race leader Julien Vermote to earn himself a 49-second lead on General Classification over Tom Dumoulin.

Speaking after pulling on the Tour of Britain’s Yellow Jersey presented by Eisberg for the first time, Steve Cummings said;

The team have done an excellent job all week in taking care of me every day and sacrificed chances for Mark [Cavendish] in the sprints to protect me. I was feeling a little bit of pressure coming into today and I just thought all I could do was do my best and I gave it my all at the end and I’m delighted to take Yellow.

I’ve been second twice before in this race, once by four seconds and once by eight seconds I think, so this race is normally won by seconds not minutes. You still have to claw back those seconds and it’s not done until it’s done. The time trial I’ll just give it full gas and hopefully it’ll be enough to hold off the superstar time trialists Dumoulin and Dennis.

Steve Cummings

Stage 6 ToB2016 Yellow Jersey Holder, Team Dimension Data

In a stage run off in extremely blustery and often wet conditions right from the start at Sidmouth on Devon’s Jurassic Coast the peloton never let the day’s break get more than just over a three minute advantage as the race wended its way across Devon towards the Dartmoor denouement.

With the race together at the foot of the Haytor climb it was BMC Racing’s Rohan Dennis who kicked things off with the first attack, being joined by Tom Dumoulin, Gorka Izagirre and Poels as Vermote was distanced.

At 2.5-kilometres to go Cummings and Tony Gallopin briefly made the junction with the three leaders, before Dennis went again, taking Dumoulin and Poels with him.

The next attack was the tall Dutchman’s, and despite the valiant efforts of the Giant Alpecin and BMC rider they couldn’t do enough to reel him in, allowing the Team Sky man to add victory atop Haytor to his summit finish win on Hartside in Cumbria 12-months previously.

“The last part we took control and we wanted to close the gap to go for the stage victory with me,” said Poels speaking afterwards.

“Yogi [Ian Stannard] and Danny [van Poppel] did a really good job, so I was really happy with that. It’s my sixth [win] of the season already and it’s always nice to win here at the Tour of Britain; last year on the uphill finish and this year again. It’s a really nice race.”

Along with Vermote’s demotion from the overall lead to eleventh overall, Etixx Quick-Step teammate Dan Martin completed a miserable day for the team, dropping from fifth to twelth.

Six riders now lie within a minute of the lead going into the Bristol double-stage, including Olympic Games Time Trial Silver medallist Tom Dumoulin, and 2014 Tour of Britain winner Dylan Van Baarle.

The last of those six Xandro Meurisse extended his lead in the SKODA King of the Mountains classification to 15-points over Nicolas Roche, with just 18 left to play for on the Bristol circuit on Saturday afternoon.

For the sprinters Jasper Bovenhuis enjoyed another productive day in the breakaway to hold an eight point lead over Johnny McEvoy in the Yodel Sprints Jersey, while Dan McLay and Nicola Ruffoni have 29-points a-piece towards the Chain Reaction Cycles Points Classification, with the Brit wearing the blue jersey.


Highlights of Stage Six are on ITV4 at 8pm on Friday 9 September, with a repeat at 1pm on Saturday 10 September.

The Tour of Britain resumes with the Bristol Stage presented by OVO Energy, taking place over a 15-kilometre circuit in Bristol that includes both the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SKODA King of the Mountains climb of Bridge Valley Road.

Riders will contest an individual time trial over one lap of the Bristol circuit from 10:01, before the afternoon sees a six-lap circuit race on the same circuit, finishing on the Clifton Downs where Michal Kwiatowski won a Tour of Britain stage in 2014.

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