Steve Cummings has become the first British rider to announce his departure from Team Sky, today confirming that he will move to BMC for 2012.
The Wirral man, who finished second in this month’s Tour of Britain, will team up with Cadel Evans, Thor Hushovd and Philippe Gilbert at the Swiss squad.
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He will also be reunited with Max Sciandri, BMC’s Assistant Racing Director, who worked with Cummings during his time at British Cycling.
Speaking about the move, Cummings told the team’s website: “Their entire program really has the whole package.
“They’ve just won the Tour de France, and the riders they’ve signed have the chance to win almost any race.”
He added: “I want to work as hard as possible for the team and make the most of any opportunities that come my way. If I can do that, then I’m happy.”
Cummings and goings
The Brit joined Team Sky for their debut season in 2010, having previously ridden for Landbouwkrediet (2005-2006), Discovery Channel (2007) and Barloworld (2008-2009).
Having completed last year’s Tour de France alongside good friend Bradley Wiggins, Cummings missed a large part of this year after being diagnosed with pneumonia in April.
He was overlooked for the Vuelta a Espana squad, and only secured a last-minute inclusion into the team’s Tour of Britain roster after Pete Kennaugh withdraw from the line up. A strong time trial on the race’s final day meant he secured second place on GC.
Cummings driving in Copenhagen
Last Sunday he was part of the Great Britain team which helped Mark Cavendish win the World Road Race title.
Cummings is the fourth rider to leave Sky after Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge), Greg Henderson (Lotto-Ridley) and Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).
Earlier this week, BMC also confirmed the signing of Adam Blythe from Omega Pharma-Lotto.
Cycling Weekly’s transfer index