A lack of breakaway stages and injuries reduced Steve Cummings' chances of a stage victory in the Tour de France

Steve Cummings has admitted that he has been “disappointed” by his 2017 Tour de France results.

The British road and time trial champion came to the Tour hoping to win a stage for the third successive year.

But the Dimension Data rider was unable to do so, with a combination of there being few stages suited for breakaway victories, as well as coming back from injury stacking up against the Wirral man.

The 36-year-old, however, has put his frustrations into perspective, aware that prior to the Tour he had only ridden one road race since a crash at the Tour of the Basque Country in April resulted in a fractured collarbone, scapula and sternum.

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“I did my best, I always tried. I’m disappointed but after some weeks I’ll probably feel better,” he said after completing the 22.5km time trial in Marseille. “I wanted to reach August and know that I had done everything I could and I have. Every day I have tried.

“But there’s only been two breakaway stages this year. The last few days I haven’t felt like I have had the edge. I’m a little bit rusty in a race, too. When you’re in a race, you see who is moving well and who isn’t, and I haven’t been able to see that. Maybe that’s a bit of it as well.

“We have to realise that I only started riding my bike back on the road on May 28. I did an hour and couldn’t bend my arm, so I have to be realistic. I think my form is quite good, the last few days I have suffered a lot with my back after the crash. I was really sore and it was exaggerated with the time trial. I race good in the Pyrenees, I was close.”

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Given his performances over the past few years, Cummings was heavily tipped to win stages that appeared to suit a breakaway victor. He said that “the pressure doesn’t bother me” but wanted onlookers to appreciate the complexities and difficulties in winning a Tour stage.

“Winning Tour stages you need to be very strong,” he said. “You don’t win Tour stages by luck. Ultimately, you have to be super strong to even have a chance of winning.

Edvald [Boasson Hagen] won yesterday and it’s been six years since he last won which is incredible, but that shows you what it takes to win a Tour stage.”

Cummings also confirmed that he would be defending his Tour of Britain title in September.