Britain’s Steven Cummings claimed victory in the fourth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico on Saturday as Czech Zdenek Stybar held on to the overall lead of the Italian stage race.
Cummings admitted his Dimension Data team had been trying to set up Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen for the win at the end of a long and undulating 222km ride between Montalto di Castro and Foligno.
But the Briton found himself in contention for victory 3.5km from home and played his cards to perfection to solo over the finish line and leave Salvatore Puccio of Team Sky in second place.
“We were trying to do a stage for Edvald Boasson Hagen, we thought that he was the best chance for today,” Cummings said.
“He’s in super form, so I was there as the policeman but it came to 3km and normally I can do 3km alone. I don’t know if that was ok but it seemed to work out.
“I was pretty confident and pretty aero on the bike. Everybody else had been pulling and I hadn’t been pulling. It was a great team performance and I was just lucky at the end.”
Stybar, of the Etixx-Quick Step team, retained the overall lead with a nine-second advantage on Italian Damiano Caruso and two other BMC riders, Greg Van Avermaet and Tejay Van Garderen sitting in third and fourth places overall.
Sunday’s fifth stage is a hillier 178km ride which begins in Foligno and ends at the summit of Monte San Vicino.
The ‘Race of the Two Seas’ is used by many riders in the peloton to prime for the season-opening classic at Milan-San Remo later this month, and finishes on Tuesday in San Benedetto del Tronto.
Results from the fourth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, a 222km race from Montalto di Castro to Foligno:
1. Steven Cummings (GBR) Dimension Data 6hr 04min 49sec, 2. Salvatore Puccio (ITA/SKY) at 13secs, 3. Natnael Berhane (IRL/DDA) same time, 4. Daniel Moreno (ESP/MOV) s.t., 5. Jan Bakelants (BEL/A2R) s.t., 6. Matteo Montaguti (ITA/A2R) 16, 7. Peter Sagan (SVK/TIN) 25, 8. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) s.t., 9. Tiesj Benoot (BEL/LOT) s.t., 10. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/ETI) s.t.
1. Zdenek Stybar (CZE/ETI) 15hr 56min 32sec, 2. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) at 09secs, 3. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) s.t., 4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) s.t., 5. Bob Jungels (LUX/ETI) 11, 6. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/ETI) s.t., 7. Peter Sagan (SVK/TIN) 14, 8. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 18, 9. Sebastien Reichenbach (SWI/FDJ) s.t, 10. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/TIN) 20
– Agence France-Presse