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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Steve Cummings (BMC)
Riding for Cadel Evans at the Tour makes up for Olympic setback
Steve Cummings has said he is disappointed to have missed out on selection for the London Olympics. The 31-year-old BMC rider, currently competing in the Tour de France, had been hoping to be part of Great Britain's five-man team in the Olympic road race after playing a key role in helping Mark Cavendish win the world road championship in Copenhagen last year.
"I'm disappointed, of course. It's everyone's dream to be selected for the Olympics, especially when it's being held in London. But I hope the guys do well and bring back a gold medal," said Cummings prior to start of the Tour's stage four in Abbeville.
Cummings has appeared at the last two Olympics, winning a silver medal as part of the team pursuit quartet in 2004 and finishing 11th in the individual time trial in 2008.
We’ve chosen a team that we think can perform the best on that course," said Dave Brailsford. "It was a tough decision. Steve’s been going well, but he’s had a few crashes and injuries this year that set him back a little bit. But he’s a fantastic rider and it was a really tough decision. But it’s always picking the last rider that’s the most difficult."
Cummings said that this setback had been eased by his selection for the BMC team defending the Tour de France title, having come back from a broken pelvis sustained at the Tour of the Algarve in February. "Being here with Cadel makes up for it, especially after everything that I've been through this year. The race has been going well so far. I've managed to stay out of trouble, although I'm braking a lot more and I'm still pretty nervous, but I've been getting through safely."
The Briton's remained in the background through the opening days of the race, but is set to come to the fore this weekend when the race reaches the first medium mountain stages. In the meantime, his goal is to stay out of trouble.
"We're lucky because we've got a really good group of Classics riders here who are keeping Cadel really safe. I get them bottles and bits like that in the early part of these stages and then try and stay in front with them as long as possible," said Cummings. "But it's really hard because if you get caught behind a crash you just go backwards. That's just the Tour, though, isn't it? But Cadel's still right up there and that's the main thing."