Steve Cummings (BMC Racing) clinched the overall win at the 2014 Tour of the Mediterranean on Sunday, placing fourth on the final stage to Mont Faron behind winner Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r).
Cummings won Saturday’s afternoon time trial stage to put himself into the general classification hot seat – and successfully defended his advantage to take the victory.
Speaking after the win, Cummings said of chasing Peraud up the final ascent: “It was so close I went way over my limit.”
“I thought we could do a good GC, but I was looking more at the time trial. But you get drawn into it, every day I kept staying in the front and then the time trial was great and today was the icing on the cake.”
“It was great for everything to fall into place. In the past, I have had form like this, or better, and something has gone wrong. I have had a crash or been sick. It has never come out properly, so it is nice to have it work out.”
Cummings will now take part in the Tour du Haut Var (February 22-23) and then Paris-Nice (March 9-16).
It’s a British rider’s first stage race victory this season, and the time trial stage was Cummings’ first win since taking a stage of the Tour of Beijing in 2012.
Cummings is the second British rider to win the race after Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Endura) in 2012. Former winners of the UCI 2.1-ranked event include Jens Voigt (2005), Paolo Bettini (2003) and Eddy Merckx (1977).
Tour of the Mediterranean, stage four: Bandol to Toulon, 192.7km
1. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r
2. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement at 5 secs
3. Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling at 11 secs
4. Steve Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing
5. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha at 17 secs
6. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing
7. Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 21 secs
8. Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF at 24 secs
9. Carlos Betancur (Col) Ag2r at 29 secs
10. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
Final overall classification
1. Steve Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing
2. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r at 4 secs
3. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing at 10 secs
4. Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environnement at 28 secs
5. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Giant-Shimano at 56 secs
6. Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert at 56 secs
7. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling at 1-01
8. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha at 1-01
9. Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing at 1-18
10. Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF at 1-29
Steve Cummings wins time trial in the Tour of the Mediterranean to move into race lead