Steve Cummings has dedicated his win at the 2015 Challenge Mallorca to his former mentor Mark Bell after taking his first win of the 2015 season on the anniversary of his death.
Cummings won the hilly Trofeo Trofeo Andratx – Mirador d’Es Colomer on Friday with a clever move on the final ascent to Formentor, giving Alejandro Valverde the slip under the flamme rouge.
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Bell passed away on January 30, 2009, at the age of 48. A former national champion at both amateur and professional level, he represented Great Britain at the 1984 Olympic Games and took a number of pro wins, notably at the Milk Race during the 1980s.
The Merseysider also mentored a young Cummings, who began his cycling career as a fellow member of Birkenhead North End CC.
“I think of him a lot and I would like to dedicate the win to him,” Cummings told Cycling Weekly.
Cummings’ victory was his first in the colours of his new MTN-Qhubeka team and it came on a climb he knows like the back of his hand.
The ramp to the Formentor peninsula is regularly used by the Great Britain national team as a test climb and Cummings – who won a silver medal in the team pursuit for Great Britain at the 2004 Olympic Games and a world title a year later – recalled many an hour spent riding up it flat out.
“I’ve got good memories of it!” he said. “We used to do it in the morning and the afternoon, a split session, with the Great Britain track team.
“We used to do capacity tests, basically just race yourself, time trial, from the bottom to the top and then turn back round and do it again.”