Steve Cummings wins Tour Méditerranéen in France after retaining lead on final stage
Last Updated: 16/02/14 8:28pm
Steve Cummings sealed overall victory by four seconds
Britain's Steve Cummings has won the Tour Méditerranéen in France after clinging on to his lead on the final stage's summit finish on Mont Faron in Toulon.
Cummings, 32, who rides for BMC, had moved to the top of the general classification by winning stage four's individual time trial on Saturday and went into Sunday's final day defending a slender four-second advantage over Riccardo Zoidl (Trek Factory Racing).
France's Jean-Christophe Peraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) climbed to victory on the 192.7km fifth stage, but was unable to overhaul his 15-second deficit to Cummings in the general classification, with the Briton finishing 11 seconds down in fourth place.
Zoidl, meanwhile, finished six seconds further back in sixth, meaning Cummings was left to celebrate a four-second victory over runner-up Peraud.
"It was so close, I went way over my limit," Cummings said. "I just did my best and luckily it was good enough. I thought I could do a good GC. I kept staying in the front and then the time trial was great. So today was like the icing on the cake."
It is the first stage-race victory of his career and comes less than a fortnight after he finished second overall at the inaugural Dubai Tour. His other career highlight came in 2012, when he won stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana.
Cummings added: "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."
Stage five result
1 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, 4:57:53
2 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environement, +5secs
3 Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling, +11
4 Steve Cummings (GB) BMC, same time
5 Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha, +17
6 Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing, st
7 Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, +21
8 Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, +24
9 Carlos Betancur (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +29
10 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, st
Final general classification
1 Steve Cummings (GB) BMC, 16:31:59
2 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +4secs
3 Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing, +10
4 Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche Environement, +28
5 Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Giant-Shimano, +56
6 Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert, same time
7 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling, +1:01
8 Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha, st
9 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC, +1:18
10 Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, +1:29