Steve Cummings (Barloworld) made up for a disappointing Beijing Olympic Games with a classy win in the one-day Coppa Bernocchi race in northern Italy on Thursday.
The Coppa Bernocchi is the last of the Trittico Lombardo three-race series and usually ends in a sprint. However, Cummings was part of a long-range three-rider break that dominated the race and then won the sprint. Luca Celli (LPR) was second and Vladimir Borisov (Amore Vita) was third. Former Tour of Flanders winner Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) finished fourth but was 2-22 minutes behind the trio. Only 21 riders finished the race after the main bunch was stropped on the finishing circuits.
Cummings was determined to do well in the final part of the season after failing to finish the Olympic road race, and because a dropped chain affected his ride in the time trial. He made an unsuccessful late attack during Tuesday?s Tre Valli Varesine so made sure he was in the early break at the Coppa Bernocchi and gave it everything to ensure the break stayed away.
It was Cummings' second win of the season after taking a stage in the Giro di Grosseto in the spring. "It's a fantastic win because the Coppa Bernocchi is a prestigious race in Italy," Cummings told Cycling Weekly.
"To be honest I didn't feel great before the race, I didn't have great legs but when two guys jumped away early, I went after them and got across. We got a 12 minute gap because we worked well together and lots of riders were tired after the two other races in the Trittico, and so I knew we had a great chance."
"Celli and then the Russian attacked near the finish but I chased them both. I was on the front in the final kilometre but just upped the speed and beat them both with my sprint."
"Now I just hope I can do well in other races before the end of the season. I'm riding the Trofeo Melinda on Saturday and a few other races before the Tour of Britain. I'd love to do well in the world championships and the Tour of Lombardy."
COPPA BERNOCCHI: RESULTS
1 Steve Cummings (GBr) Barloworld 193km in 4hrs 38mins 20secs avg 41.605 km/h
2 Luca Celli (Ita) LPR Brakes
3 Vladimir Borisov (Rus) Amore Vita at same time
4 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre at 2mins 15secs
5 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Columbia at 2mins 22secs
6 Murilo Fischer (Bra) Liquigas
7 Donato Cannone (Ita) NGC Medical
8 Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Acqua Sapone
9 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR Brakes
10 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Preti Mangimi all at same time
Photo by Graham Watson
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