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Competing in what was only the team’s second day of competition in 2015, Steve Cummings clocked up MTN-Qhubeka’s debut victory of the 2015 season when he won the Trofeo Andratx today.
The win adds to the impression that the team is going to be competing at a higher level this season than before. Cummings is one of several important new signings to the Pro Continental squad, which is gunning for WorldTour status in 2016.
The Briton has picked up big wins in the past, including last year’s Tour of the Mediterranean, stages in the 2012 Vuelta a España and Tour of Beijing and a stage in the 2011 Volta ao Algarve.
He made a similar attack in the latter race, jumping early on the final climb and holding off the more experienced climbers behind.
“I’m really happy with today’s victory,” he said. “I knew I had done a lot of good work over the winter so I’d like to thank the team for the amazing work they did and chance they gave me to focus on today’s race. I was able to come back to the front right near the end and snatch the victory, so I’m really happy with the result.”
Cummings has had injury issues at times in recent seasons but is hoping that his move to MTN Qhubeka from the BMC Racing Team will lead to a better run of luck.
His team-mate Johann van Zyl spent over 145km’s in the days’ main breakaway, taking the pressure off the team. It was able to hold back and let other squads do the chasing, then ride aggressively in the finale once he was caught with just over a kilometre to go.
Jacques Janse van Rensburg surged next and after he was recaptured, Cummings put the hammer down and got a decisive gap.
The video above shows how close Valverde came to nabbing the win. However Cummings had timed his move to perfection and reached the line first, thus opening MTN-Qhubeka’s account for 2015.
Trofeo Andratx/Mirador d’Es Colomer, day two of 2015 Mallorca Challenge
1, Stephen Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka)
2, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
3, Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Garmin)
4, Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing)
5, Leopold König (Team Sky)