BEIJING, Oct 13, 2012 – Steve Cummings capped off a brilliant year
for British cycling by taking the final stage of the Tour of Beijing on
Saturday, but German Tony Martin reclaimed the title that he won last year.
Cummings, who races for the BMC Racing Team, claimed victory on day five of
cycling’s last tour of the season by out-sprinting Ryder Hesjedal
(Garmin-Sharp) in the final run-in.
The 31-year-old suffered an injury-plagued start to a season which has seen
compatriot Bradley Wiggins win the Tour de France and Britain dominate in
cycling at the London 2012 Olympics.
But he had the strength to hold off a powerful challenge from Canadian
racer Hesjedal. The pair finished 17 seconds in front of third placed Edvald
Norwegian Boasson Hagen’s finish helped him seal third place in the overall
standings in Beijing, behind Italian Francesco Gavazzi and champion Martin.
Martin cemented his victory on the second day of racing on Wednesday, when
he finished a huge 46 seconds in front after making a breathtaking dash for
the finishing line.
He has led on the overall standings throughout the remainder of the tour to
reclaim the title he won last year — China’s first World Tour calendar event.
“I am super happy — over the moon,” Martin said. “With this victory we rode technically really well as a team. We were always very clever. We never lost control of the race. It was a great day for us where everybody did their best. We had good legs and were really strong as a team. I really think this week I had a great team around me. I was never in trouble. Today, for example, I was always in the top 10 position in the group. I rode carefully without losing my objective, which was to win the GC. We came here with a lot of ambitions, as did a lot of teams and riders, but we had good tactics and were able to do what we hoped for. Yesterday was the first stage where I did not feel 100 percent, but I survived with the help of my teammates. Today I found my good legs again, so I am happy. I think maybe the one or two big injuries I had this year made a difference in the final part of the season. I was a little bit fresher. The condition was there and I could work without problem. In the last weeks I was thinking about the World Championships and then this race. When you win two times in a row, like the TT World Championship or Tour of Beijing, it’s something special. It gives me a lot more trust in myself. I trained well during the Vuelta, so now the results are there. It’s perfect. I will race the Chrono des Nations on Sunday the 21st, and then will stay at home and take a little bit of rest, enjoying life with my family.”
The Omega Pharma-QuickStep racer took silver in the men’s individual time
trial at the Olympics this year.
Saturday’s race started at Changping Stadium, which is north of the city
centre, and finished 182.5km (113.4 miles) later at Pinggu, in Beijing’s
Results from the fifth stage of the Tour of Beijing on Saturday:
1. Steven Cummings (GMB/BMC Racing) 4:05:08″
2. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/Garmin-Sharp) at 2 secs
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/Team Sky) at 17 secs
4. Daniele Bennati (ITA/RadioShack-Nissan) same time
5. Tim Wellens (BEL/Lotto-Belisol Team) same time
6. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA/Astana Pro Team) same time
7. Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED/Rabobank Cycling Team) same time
8. Rafal Majka (POL/Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Team) same time
9. Mathias Frank (SUI/BMC Racing Team) same time
10. Simon Clarke (AUS/Orica GreenEDGE) same time
Overall classification after stage five (final stage):
1. Tony Martin (GER/Omega Pharma-Quick Step) 17hr 16min 56secs
2. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA/Astana Pro Team) at 40 secs
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/Sky Procycling) at 46 secs
4. Daniel Martin (IRL/Garmin-Sharp) at 50 secs
5. Eros Capecchi (ITA/Liquigas-Cannondale) at 52 secs
6. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA/AG2R La Mondiale) at 56 secs
7. Rafal Majka (POL/Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Team) at 56 secs
8. Tomasz Marczynski (POL/Vacansoleil-DCM Procycling) at 56 secs
9. Rui Alberto Costa (POR/Movistar Team) at 1:00
10. Tim Wellens (BEL/Lotto-Belisol Team) at 1:00