Steve Cummings will celebrate his birthday today with a 291-kilometre bike ride in Italy – Milan-San Remo.
The British rider marks his 35th year playing a support role for Dimension Data team-mates Mark Cavendish and Edvald Boasson Hagen, who are the South African team’s two-pronged plan of attack. Cavendish won the prestigious Monument in 2009.
Cummings himself tasted success last week when he took a solo stage victory at Tirreno-Adriatico, adding another win to a palmares that already includes stages of the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
It is possible that if Cummings finds himself in a position to contest the win – from an escape group or attack – then he could grasp the opportunity, just as he did in Tirreno. But it is more likely that the team will use his firepower to work hard for Cavendish and Boasson Hagen.
Dimension Data has already tasted success in Milan-San Remo. German Gerald Ciolek took the victory in 2013 when the team was known as MTN-Qhubeka, which turned out to be a milestone for the team.
With a new sponsor in the shape of Dimension Data, an expanded roster and WorldTour status for 2016, the squad will be one to watch in this year’s race.
Cummings isn’t the only rider to turn 35 this week, Fabian Cancellara celebrated his 35th birthday on Friday. Cancellara is also riding Milan-San Remo, as Trek-Segafredo’s leader.