Steve Cummings has announced his retirement from the professional peloton at the age of 38.
The British rider said he felt physically ready to continue his career and was “happy to continue, but also happy to stop” after struggling to find a new team at WorldTour or Pro Continental level, with Dimension Data (soon to be Team NTT) deciding not to renew his contract for what would have been a fifth year with the team.
Cummings said he was grateful just to have “lived his dream” since his career began in the early 2000s. Here are seven highlights from his two decades of racing.
Takes silver in the team pursuit at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games
After achieving a time of a time of 3:59.866 in the heats, Cummings and a fresh-faced Bradley Wiggins took silver in the team pursuit at the Athens Games in 2004.
Clinches the rainbow bands in the team pursuit at the 2005 Track World Championships
Cummings improved on his silver with a gold in the team pursuit a year later at the World Track Championships in Los Angeles.
Cummings takes gold at the Commonwealth Games 2006
Alongside Paul Manning, Chris Newton and Rob Hayles, Cummings took gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. He also came close to winning the individual pursuit, eventually taking the bronze medal.
Wins his first Grand Tour stage at the 2012 Vuelta a España
After two years at Sky, his first WorldTour team, Cummings moved to BMC in 2012 and took his first Grand Tour stage victory in his debut Vuelta a España, beating Cameron Meyer and Juan Antonio Flecha.
Blows away Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet in emphatic Tour de France stage victory
One of the most memorable Tour de France moments in recent years, at least for British fans. Thibaut Pinot and Romain Bardet began playing cat and mouse as they thought they were closing in on a French victory at their home Grand Tour. Next, a black and white object came zooming past the pair and the tv moto and was gone up the road ahead before they knew it and they wouldn’t be able to catch him.
On return to WorldTour with Dimension Data, Cummings takes the eighth and final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2016
Cummings stepped down to Pro-Continental level in 2015 after he left BMC to join MTN-Qhubeka, and Dimension Data took over as sponsors for 2016 and team regained their WorldTour status. After a stage victory at Tirreno-Adriatico earlier that year, Cummings followed up with another win on the final stage of the 2016 Dauphiné.
Doubles up Tour de France victories with solo breakaway
The following year Cummings wanted a more comfortable victory than just a few seconds. After a solo breakaway he had time to soak in the adulation of the crowds in the final kilometre as he finished more than a minute ahead of Daryl Impey on stage seven.
Cummings wins the overall at the 2016 Tour of Britain
The culmination of a dream 12 months for the Wirral rider. To go along with his smash-and-grab stage victories in the WorldTour, Cummings took the overall victory to be the second British winner after Bradley Wiggins in 2013 since the British stage race became the Tour of Britain in 2004.
Cummings completes stunning British nationals double with solo victory in road race
In 2017, Cummings then became the first rider since 2007 to win the British road race and time trial title in the same year with a stunning road race victory on the Isle of Man.