Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) would put in a blistering ride at the Vuelta a Espana stage 17 individual time trial to not only win the stage, but to also move into the overall race lead. Steve Cummings was our top placed rider in 9th.
For MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung the plan today was to have a good go at the stage with Stevo and for Louis Meintjes to retain his top 10 place on GC. The rest of our riders, not known time trial specialists, looked to get around the 39km course in one piece with 3 tough stages still to come.
Steve would have a mid-field start today which saw him go through the 2 intermediate time checks in 1st and then 2nd position respectively. At the finish our British star would clock the 2nd fastest time of the day after averaging 47.8km/h, a solid effort given the windy conditions out there.
Attention was then focused on the GC battle and whether our young South African could hold off Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) to retain his 10th place on the general classification. Louis started out conservatively which saw him lose as much as 40 seconds to Pozzovivo by the 2nd time check, but a super strong finish saw Louis claw back some seconds and comfortably held on to 10th overall.
Once all riders had come in, Steve would be left with 9th place on the stage. Another consistent result against the clock after his top 10 placing at the Tour de France time trial earlier in the year as well.
Steve Cummings – Rider
I liked the course a lot. It was a beautiful course through a nice city. It wasn’t all that technical, just the last bit with the climb and descent was a little technical. It was just a power course really but it was kind of hard to judge because it was uphill to start and then headwind, so no real rest. You had to put a bit more effort going out than coming back but not too much because it was still a long way to go. It became a mental battle because it was a pretty long effort, like 50 minutes. In the end I think it was quite good, I did the best I could.
About MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung was founded in 2007, steadily working its way up from a regional team to now being a Continental Pro team with bases in South Africa and Italy. MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s goal is to give talented African riders a path into the pro peloton while raising funds for Qhubeka. In 2015, MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung are inviting you to help them mobilise 5,000 kids on bicycles. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.
Qhubeka is an Nguni word that means “to progress”, “to move forward”. Qhubeka (qhubeka.org) is World Bicycle Relief’s program in South Africa. World Bicycle Relief (worldbicyclerelief.org) is a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation. Since World Bicycle Relief’s founding in 2005, it has delivered more than 220,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles to people in need. To contribute to the #BicyclesChangeLives Campaign, click here.
MTN (mtn.co.za) is a long-time supporter of Qhubeka and the team. Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a leading emerging market operator, connecting 219.2 million subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.