British team pursuit rider Stephen Cummings will this week join the American Discovery Channel team. Cummings rode for the Belgian Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team for the last two years and is now stepping in to one of the biggest teams in the ProTour.
The staff at British Cycling, along with Cummings? agent Richard Allchin, had tried to place the 25-year old in a ProTour team for this season, knowing it was the best way for him to improve as a rider, but it didn?t happen. This year the teams came looking.
With a big market in the UK, it?s believed Discovery wanted a British rider on their squad after Roger Hammond moved on to T-Mobile. Directeur sportif Sean Yates was also instrumental in bringing Cummings to the team.
Cummings? best result this year was second in the Trofeo Laigueglia in February, when he narrowly lost out to Alessandro Ballan, the form rider of the Spring classics. Although he didn?t repeat that result, his form remained consistent through the year, bringing him to the attention of several teams.
Cummings? coach Simon Jones is keen for him to ride at least one major Tour next year, although this is unlikely to be the Tour de France.
The deal is likely to be announced this week, while Cummings is on a short break in Canada. He will then travel to Perth, Australia for a six-week training camp with the British track squad before meeting with his new team.