Team Sky rider Steve Cummings will miss Sunday’s national championship road race as he wants to be fresh for his Tour de France debut.
With Bradley Wiggins also expected to miss it in preparation for the Tour, six Sky riders are scheduled to
be on the start line in Pendle.
“It would have meant I’d have been away from home for six weeks, which we thought was a bit too long,” Cummings said, speaking from a Manchester laboratory where he was doing testing on mineral intake.
“Something had to go, and we thought the tests were more important and could make a bigger difference. The Tour is the priority, you can’t do everything. I’m disappointed, I was really looking forward to it.”
Cummings is the third Briton in the Sky Tour team, alongside friends Wiggins and Geraint Thomas. “I can’t wait really,” he said. “There’s other great races, but the Tour is probably the biggest in terms of media and attention.”
The selection wasn’t a great surprise for the 29-year-old. “To be honest, I was expecting it,” Cummings said. “I think I can bring a lot to the team in terms of what I can do: I can help on the flat and the intermediate stages, as well as in the mountains a bit. I can perhaps get a little result myself if the opportunity arises.”
Cummings hasn’t raced since the Giro d’Italia, where he tried to claim a stage victory.
However, the Birkenhead-born rider accompanied Bradley Wiggins on last week’s reconnaissance trip to the Alps and Pyrenees, as part of a select group which also included Sean Yates, Rod Ellingworth, Michael Barry and a Team Sky mechanic, chef, soigneur and physio, among others.
“We had two days in the Alps, then drove to the Pyrenees. We saw a lot in what was a relatively short time, it was just fantastic to ride the climbs.” The mountains reconnaitred included the Madeleine, Tourmalet and Aubsique.
Team Sky’s Tour de France line up takes shape