Steve Cummings (Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka) has successfully defended his overall lead at the Tour of Britain with just one stage remaining. He came 4th in the morning time trial in Bristol and finished safely in the peloton in the afternoon stage.
Cummings went into the day with a 49sec lead over Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin). And the Dutch rider clocked a fast time on the 15km course that was tricky to ride due to wet conditions. However, his time wouldn’t be enough to take the win on the day.
Rohan Dennis (BMC) was 2 seconds faster, but it was Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) who would win his first international TT this year. The German covered the course in 18.06min. Cummings finished 4th, 16sec down on Martin. His time was enough to defend the lead.
With the gaps being less than 1 minute over his closest rivals on GC, Cummings had to stay alert in the afternoon stage. The first man to break away was André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal). He dragged 3 riders with him but the group was held within distance and would eventually be reeled back in with 3 kilometres to go.
On the last incline of the stage Rohan Dennis attacked and got a gap. He held on to it and crossed the line 6 seconds ahead of the peloton. The Australian managed to move up to 2nd overall, 26 seconds behind Cummings who rode attentively to keep the yellow jersey with one stage to go. The Tour of Britain will conclude tomorrow in London.
Steve Cummings – “The TT was very tricky but I’m happy with how it went for me. The roads were wet and there were a lot of grids and white lines. I did the corners with caution and put the power down when I could. The afternoon stage was not much easier. The was a very tough final climb.”
“After a hard week of racing it sure made for an exciting final. I’m happy that I could limit my losses and I’m very grateful to the whole team for the work they did for me all week.”