The Brit, from the Wirral, trailed Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet as the pair looked destined to contest the final sprint after a short, steep climb up to the airfield.
But Cummings was not to be outdone, speeding past the duo as the hill flattened out, leaving them trailing in his wake as he crossed the finish line.
The atmosphere on the finish line was a strange one – a few hundred people had made the trek all the way to the top of the climb, while a gaggle of press were watching from the side of the road.
Some of the Brits struggled to contain their excitement, while even the French fans forgot that they’re supposed to dislike the British riders.
Cummings thrust his hand into the air as he crossed the line – the symbol of the MTN-Qhubeka team – on a special day for the South African team, being Nelson Mandela Day.