Steve Cummings critical of timing of announcement for Team GB's World Championships squad, as he admits he hopes to contest the time trial in Qatar
Steve Cummings has declared his desire to claim one of Team GB’s two places in the World Championships time trial in Qatar next month, but admitted he’s frustrated by the selection process and the fact riders still don’t know who is racing.
The Dimension Data rider said he “of course” wants to contest the Worlds time trial if he can, which takes place on a 40km flat course on Wednesday October 12. However, he was critical of the fact that it’s almost a month until the event and no announcement about the squad has been made.
“You need to know soon [who’s selected] and it needs to be an objective,” he told Cycling Weekly at the Tour of Britain, where he is currently sitting second overall after four stages.
“It [the Worlds] needs to not be something we do on the back of something else. It’s difficult if you don’t know what the selector’s thinking to make it an objective, because there’s no point making it an objective if I’m not going. I’m hoping I can go.”
British Cycling states that selection for the squad Great Britain will send to the Worlds will be made on September 19, 23 days before the men’s individual time trial takes place, and is decided by a selection panel chaired by a member of Team GB’s senior management team.
Rod Ellingworth, British Cycling men’s endurance coach, previously told CW 14 riders are on the long-list for the Worlds, with nine selected for the road race and two the time trial. Alex Dowsett has also stated he hopes to be selected for the time trial.
However, Cummings said he had not had any conversations with anyone from British Cycling regarding the event.
Cummings criticised British Cycling and GB coach Ellingworth earlier this summer, after he was initially left out of Team GB’s line up for the Rio Olympics road race. He claimed Ellingworth’s role at Team Sky was a “conflict of interest”, while also questioning the team’s potential tactics. He was later installed in the team after Peter Kennaugh withdrew with illness.
“It’s just better whoever is going knows so they can prepare properly,” he continued. “Like I say it’s a big investment and you need to know if you’re going if you’re going to invest.”
British Cycling has been approached for further comment.
Cummings competed at the Worlds in the time trial last year in Richmond, USA, and finished in 15th place. The average temperature in Qatar in October is 35 degrees, but Cummings said the potential scorching heat didn’t worry him.
“Flat’s good, but I can go uphill as well so it’s no problem,” Cummings said. “I’ve won races in very hot conditions so as long as you’re prepared properly the heat can be an advantage.