Steve Cummings (Barloworld) finished the stage to Monte Pora absolutely dead but extremely happy.

He was part of the seven-rider break that formed after 50km and finished fourth on the uphill finish after 238km of tough racing in pouring rain.

Vasil Kiryienka (Tinkoff) won the stage but Cummings crossed the line with smile on his face after again having the courage to go on the attack after almost three weeks of racing.

?I decided to go for it. You?ve got to have a go, haven?t you?? Cummings told Cycling Weekly.

?I could have sat in the bunch but I decided to give it a go. I felt bad for two days after the rest day, I always do. But I usually come round on the third day. I felt the power was up at the start and so I decided to have a go and try and get in the break.?

?I was disappointed not to get in a move on the two flat stages and so went with Kiryienka when he jumped across. I was fine on the flat and could have gone all day. Luckily they didn?t go too fast on the big climb and I looked after myself.?

?We did the stage in training before the Giro and so I knew the descent and that helped. I almost lost it a few times but caught them. After that they didn?t go very hard because they were all tired.?

?When Kiryienka went I didn?t even go after him and rode at my own pace. Efimkin and Sorensen tried to stay with him but blew later on and I caught and passed both of them. Di Luca came past me at warp speed ten but I was worried a bunch of 50 would scream past as well.?

?At the finish I was smiling and suffering. I was happy because I?d done a ride and got a result but I was absolutely dead. It was a crazy break but I?m glad I did it. That?s what cycling is about.?

Cummings’ aching legs were eased by an extra long massage and an extra plate of pasta after the stage. Hopefully it will help him make it through Saturday?s 224km 20th stage over the Gavia and the Mortirolo. After his hard work in the breakaway he deserves to make it to Milan more than most.

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: STAGE REPORTS

Stage 19: Contador hangs on to race lead

Stage 18: Voigt wins Giro d’Italia ‘Worlds’ stage in Varese

Stage 17: Cav gifts Greipel the stage

Stage 16: Pellizotti wins mountain time trial

Stage 15: Sella strikes again in the mountains

Stage 14: Sella wins first Giro mountains stage

Stage 13: Easy victory for super-fast Cavendish

Stage 12: Bennati gets photo finish verdict over Cavendish

Stage 11: Bertolini wins hilly stage

Stage 10: Bruseghin wins Giro d’Italia time trial

Stage nine: Cavendish misses out in sprint

Stage eight: Ricco wins again

Stage seven: Di Luca, Ricco and Contador gain time on rivals

Stage six: Italians clean up

Stage five: Millar denied by snapped chain

Stage four: Cavendish wins

Stage three: Bennati romps home

Stage two: Ricco wins Giro d’Italia second stage

Stage one TTT: Slipstream wins Giro team time trial

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: NEWS

Contador, Ricco and Simoni to face off in final Giro d’Italia mountains

Six Brits finish mountain time trial [stage 16]

Cavendish disappointed after missing out in Giro sprint

Can Cavendish win the Giro today? [stage 12]

Aggressive Cummings comes away empty handed [stage six]

Millar speaks out after missing out in Giro [stage five]

Reaction to Cavendish’s Giro stage win

Cav hits back at Pozzato’s snipe

Cavendish: This is my biggest win [stage four]

Millar celebrates Slipstream Giro d’Italia success

Bettini looking for final Giro glory

Astana’s troubled build-up to the Giro

Petacchi banned for Salbutamol positive

Yates and Astana make last minute rush to Giro

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: PHOTOS

Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week three – new photos added daily

Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week two – new photos added daily

Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week one.

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: FEATURES

Five days to go, what’s in store?

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)

Cycling Weekly’s all-time list of British pro winners

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)

Rest day 1: How the favourites are doing

Giro Britannia part two: From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia

Tuesday Comment (May 13): Why Cavendish is a bona fide world-class star

Giro Britannia: how the Brits are doing in Italy

Giro d’Italia 2008 preview

Giro d’Italia 2008: who will win?

Giro d’Italia 2008: The British are coming

Giro d’Italia on Eurosport: TV schedule