Stage 7 | L’Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle | Tour de France 2016
As Steve Cummings won the second Tour de France stage of his career, to make it four in a week for Great Britain and also for Team Dimension Data, Richard Moore and Lionel Birnie report from Lac de Payolle as the Tour entered the high mountains.
Cummings won a memorable stage at Mende last year, outwitting the Frenchmen Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot, but this was even more impressive. He attacked alone with 27km to go and held off chasers who included Vincenzo Nibali, the 2014 champion and recent Giro d’Italia winnner.
At the finish the podcast team spoke to Cummings, to Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas and to Irishman Sam Bennett, who has been struggling with injuries sustained in a crash on stage one. We also hear from Matt White, the Orica-BikeExchange sports director, who was annoyed by an incident that initially looked farcical but which could have serious repercussions for his young British rider, Adam Yates.
Yates attacked from the group of favourites, which included Chris Froome and Nairo Quintana, as they passed under the huge inflatable arch that marks a kilometre to go. But the arch collapsed, causing Yates to crash heavily on his face. Behind, most riders were held up, and nobody lost any time, but Yates was badly hurt and crossed the line with blood dripping from his face.
But it was a day of celebration for another British rider, with 35-year-old Cummings enjoying a remarkable purple patch. This was his fourth win in a World Tour race this year, making it easily his best ever season and a victory for a certain kind of rider – somebody who rides on feel and instinct rather than power numbers and instructions over race radio. “I just feel things and look at riders and sensations,” Cummings said at the finish. “I go a lot on feel, I don’t use the radio too much.”
The Telegraph Cycling Podcast is supported by Rapha and Eurosport.