Steve Cummings has extended his contract with Barloworld through to the end of 2009. The Barloworld rider re-signed after a successful Giro d’Italia that saw him take fourth on one of the race’s toughest mountain stages.

Cummings will soon return to the UK to resume track training as the British squad start their build up to the Beijing Olympics this August. Cummings has been part of the team pursuit squad since he turned senior, and although he missed out on a ride at this year’s world championships in Manchester, he remains an integral part of the squad.

Cummings’ compatriot at Barloworld, Geraint Thomas, has also renewed his contract with the squad for next season. Neither of the Brits are due to ride this year’s Tour de France as they instead prepare for the Olympics.

Cummings turned pro for Landbouwkrediet Colnago in 2005. He moved up to the Discovery Channel team for the 2007 season before signing for Barloworld soon after the American team announced it could not find a sponsor to replace Discovery.

It’s believed Cummings, like all the British pro’s, is only signing with his team for one more season so he is available for the British ProTour team that is expected in 2010. See this week’s Cycling Weekly for more details on Dave Brailsford’s plans to put a British pro team together.