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Steve Cummings doubles up at the National Championships. Now he’s off to the Tour de France

Joseph Delves
26 Jun 2017

Breakaway ride seals road race National Championship for Cummings days after time trial win

Having beaten defending champion Alex Dowsett (Movistar) in the British National time trial Championship on Thursday, on Sunday Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) soloed to victory in the road race. His two winning rides make him the first British rider to do the double at the National Champs since David Millar in 2007.

This afternoon the 36-year old’s Dimension Data team also announced his selection for their Tour de France squad, rounding off a successful few days for the rider.

Cummings missed the Giro d’Italia, and now appears to have hit peak form at exactly the right moment.

While the National Championships time trial was a close run affair, with Dowsett taking only nine seconds longer than Cummings to complete the almost hour long Isle of Man course, the road race provided a more definitive win.

With attacks from the off, Dowsett and defending champion Adam Blythe (Aqua Blue Sport) got away with around 20 riders. But with plenty of big names chasing the move failed to stick, despite building an advantage of over a minute.

With the initial break caught, a second large group got away after about 60km. Including Ian Stannard (Team Sky), Scott Davies (Team Wiggins), Chris Lawless (Axeon-Hagens Berman), Graham Briggs (JLT Condor), James Shaw (Lotto Soudal) and Dowsett, as the group hit the Snaefell Mountain climb these riders got clear and establish a forward group.

Holding an advantage of around half a minute, several riders from the chasing pack were able to dash across, including Tao Geoghegan Hart and Jon Dibben (Team Sky) and Scott Thwaites (Dimension Data).

With the front of the race now stacked with Team Sky men, Peter Kennaugh and former teammate Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) were the first to attack, with Ian Bibby (JLT Condor), Lawless and Cummings chasing after.

As Stannard also tired to bridge over the blue and black jerseys of Team Sky threatened to mob the race. But when Kennaugh and Swift’s move failed, Cummings attacked.

Demonstrating the same form that won him the earlier time trial he built an advantage that eventually totalled 40 seconds, leaving Lawless and Bibby to fight for second and third respectively.

'I’m back now so we can forget about the injuries! It’s nice to be back doing what I do and looking forward to whatever is next.

'It’ll be nice to be at the Tour and to get stuck in,' Cummings told British Cycling after the race.

Looking forward to the Tour de France, Dimension Data team will be aiming for sprint wins with Mark Cavendish. However Cummings will likely also be after stage wins.

While the opening time trial of the Tour de France might be a bit short for Cummings at only 14 km, the slightly longer route of the 22.5 km penultimate ITT in Marseille could make it an ideal target for the rider who’ll be competing in his 11th Grand Tour.