Commonwealth Games gold medallists Steve Cummings and Paul Manning will return to European road racing with their Landbouwkrediet-Colnago team this week. Their next race scheduled is the Rund um de Henninger Turm in Franfurt on May 1. Their successful track campaign saw the British pair win seven medals in the Commonwealth Games and World Track Championships, but they have only participated in two road events in two months. Both are eager to race again in some of Europe's biggest races.
Steve Cummings, 25, whose second place in the Italian semi-classic Trofeo Laiguelia - the best performance by a British pro this year - can't wait to get on with things. "It was in some ways difficult to leave the road racing scene to concentrate on the track for such a long period especially as I had proved I had very good form," Cummings said. "It was a commitment I had to make and have no regrets, I gave it 101 percent. However, it was unfortunate to come at a time when I was breaking through on the continent. I cannot wait to get some races under my belt and find my road form again. Hopefully with hard work it will not take too long. After the German classic we go to the Four Days of Dunkirk (May 3-7) and at the end of the following week the three day Tour of Picardie. We might be riding the Tour of Belgium or some other races then ride the Tour of Luxembourg at the beginning of June. I hope I will get in great condition again soon and get some success so I can ride in a ProTour team next year."
Paul Manning, 32, had similar ambitions at least in the short term. Winner of the individual gold medal in the Commonwealth Games and the gold medal in the team pursuit as was Cummings, not to mention a individual bronze medal in the World Championship where he recorded the fastest time, Paul has taken a big step up in world pursuiting and is now in the world's top three riders in that event. "I feel the same as Steve in a lot of ways, despite my recent success on the track I cannot wait to race on the road again, helping Steve reach his goals and if I am 'feeling lucky' take some opportunities myself," Manning said. "However, because of circumstances we have to play catch-up, so it will be good to get a few races in and hopefully things will happen."