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Stephen Cummings won the overall title to help the BMC Racing Team earn its fifth victory of the season. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Stephen Cummings won the overall title to help the BMC Racing Team earn its fifth victory of the season. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

BMC Racing Team's Cummings Wins Tour Méditerranéen

16. February 2014

BMC Racing Team's Stephen Cummings captured the overall title of the Tour Méditerranéen Sunday by finishing fourth on the summit finish of Mont Faron.

Everything Fell Into Place
Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R La Mondiale) soloed to win the stage, five seconds ahead of Eduardo Sepulveda (Bretagne-Seche Environnement). But Cummings arrived at the finish 11 seconds after Péraud, enough time to secure the overall by four seconds over Péraud. "It was so close, I went way over my limit," Cummings said. "I just did my best and luckily it was good enough. I thought I could do a good GC (general classification), but was looking more to the time trial and taking things day-by-day. But I kept staying in the front and then the time trial was great. So today was like the icing on the cake." Cummings rode into the overall lead of the four-day, five-stage race by winning Saturday's 18.2-kilometer individual time trial to take a four-second lead over Riccardo Zoidl (Trek Factory Racing) and 10 seconds over Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) into the 192.7-km final stage. "It was great for everything to fall into place," Cummings said. "In the past, I have had form like this – or better – and something has gone wrong: I have had a crash or been sick. It has never come out properly. So it is nice to have it work out."

Team's Perfect Performance
Helping Cummings score the BMC Racing Team's fifth win of the season was Ben Hermans – who himself finished ninth overall – Yannick Eijssen, Norwegian national road champion Thor Hushovd, Klaas Lodewyck, Amaël Moinard, Taylor Phinney and Larry Warbasse. The BMC Racing Team made sure the race was back together by the base of the final climb by chasing down a four-man breakaway that led by six minutes at one point. Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said the team's performance – which included a runner-up finish by Hushovd in Saturday morning's road race – was "perfect" from start to finish. "I think today is one big victory for the team," he said. "It was an important victory for Steve and for the team. Now I think all the guys are 100 percent ready for the next races: for Tirreno-Adriatico, for Paris-Nice and for Milan-San Remo. This proves the work we did was important – both the training camp in Denia (Spain) and their training at home." The win was Cummings' first stage race victory in 10 seasons as a professional and added to his runner-up finish overall (to Phinney) at the Dubai Tour earlier this month.

Listen to complete comments from Cummings and Ledanois on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.

View photos from the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.