Steve Cummings is coming… and now he’s gone past you
I tell you what you don’t see much of in cycling – overtaking. Riders will attack a group, but when they ride up to someone from behind, their first impulse is always to just tuck in behind and conserve a bit of energy.
Not Steve Cummings. Just over the top of the steep final climb of the Côte de la Croix Neuve, he caught up with the two Frenchman who had distanced the rest of the break. And what did he do? He roared straight past them. It was a thing of rare beauty: two strong riders recovering from a hard, hard effort and then another guy steaming past them as if he’d teleported in from an entirely different race.
After he finished tenth in the opening time trial, I suggested that Cummings probably deserved a bit more attention from the British press. Presumably he’ll get it now. If he doesn’t, he’ll get plenty of column inches down in South Africa after notching the first Tour stage win by an African team and doing it on Mandela Day.
Froome v Quintana, episode summat-or-other
Further back, the general classification took on a subtly different shape. Tejay Van Garderen’s steady, sloggy, medium-intensity climbing style meant he lost 40 seconds to Chris Froome and slipped to third overall. Froome also whipped out a sprint to gain a whole extra second on Nairo Quintana. Everyone else lost time to the yellow jersey as well. I can’t be arsed wading through the results picking out individuals though.
A sprint day? Surely not? Teams with fast blokes in their ranks will surely do all they can to chase down the break on a day that is somewhat weirdly largely downhill. Here’s the profile.