Skip to main content

Tour de France: Cavendish has proved doubters wrong, says Cummings

Image 1 of 5

Steve Cummings tucks during a downhill section of stage 2

Steve Cummings tucks during a downhill section of stage 2 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 2 of 5

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) in the green jersey

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) in the green jersey (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 3 of 5

Andre Greipel thought he had it but was pipped by Mark Cavendish at the line

Andre Greipel thought he had it but was pipped by Mark Cavendish at the line (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 4 of 5

The stage 3 photo finish won by Mark Cavendish over Andre Greipel

The stage 3 photo finish won by Mark Cavendish over Andre Greipel (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
Image 5 of 5

Steve Cummings riding to the stage win

Steve Cummings riding to the stage win (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Steve Cummings believes that Mark Cavendish has answered his critics in the best way possible after the Manxman won his second stage of this year's Tour de France in Angers on Monday.

The Dimension Data sprinter won the opening stage of the race and donned the yellow jersey for a day. After conceding it on stage 2, he came back to beat Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) the following day.

Coming into the race, however, Cavendish was seen by many as a relative underdog to win sprint stages.

"It's like old Cavendish, popping them out left, right and centre. Unbeatable. Fastest man on the planet, I've said it before," a jubilant Cummings told Cyclingnews at the finish line in Angers.

"He is just a superb talent and some people like to write him off but I'm just so happy that he just comes back and there you go."

Cummings role was to sit back throughout most of stage 3 after he had spent a significant amount of time working to defend yellow the previous day and it was Cavendish's core sprint train that delivered him to the line. He positioned himself on Greipel's wheel before coming passed on the German's left shoulder.

Cummings still believes that the Dimension Data riders are still gelling together and finding their best roles within the squad.

"My role today was simple, to take it easy. I had spent 135 kilometers on the front on stage 2. I think we're still finding our best roles in the team. I think this is the first time that the team has ridden together so it's about finding out who can do what, and using the riders we have. We don't have a full team dedicated to a leadout, we've a mixed team. It doesn't mean we can't help, but that it takes a few days to utilise people in the best way."

"Mark and that group, they're incredible. Renshaw, Eisel, Boasson Hagen and Cavendish. They've raced together for so many years. Chapeau."

Cavendish spoke at the post-stage press conference and admitted that the move to Dimension Data had given him a new lease of life. The challenge of combing his road and Olympic track aspirations may have looked daunting at the start of the year but Cummings thinks that the new challenge was just what the 31-year-old needed.

"I think it's up to him, in his head, about how long he wants to continue for. People criticise the programme he has saying he can't do too many things but maybe that's the challenge that he needed. He's a big champion and won so much but maybe he needed that for the motivation."