The favourite to win the 2016 Tour de France is a Briton, and four of the first seven stages have been won by Britons, including today’s lumpy stage won by Steve Cummings. The Dimension Data rider told reporters that he was pleased to have bagged a stage, joining his team mate and "legend" Mark Cavendish who has won three sprint stages so far. (Team Dimension Data is a Trek-riding African team formerly known as MTN-Qhubeka and rides for the Qhubeka Foundation, the World Bicycle Relief’s "bicycles change lives" charity programme in South Africa.)
Chris Froome is still the favourite to win the Tour.
Other British riders shining so far include Leicester’s Dan McLay, who could be the next big thing in British sprinting. The New Zealand-born 24-year-old is former winner of the Tour of Wales. He has not come up through the British Cycling’s Academy but via the Dave Rayner fund, a charity which offers bursaries to promising young cyclists who wish to race abroad. On yesterday’s stage he finished third, and was accelerating towards Cavendish.
Liverpool’s Cummings won a stage of last year’s Tour de France, surprising two breakaway riders but today rode away from climbing specialists on the Col d’Aspin to win with a minute to spare at Lac de Payolle.
Greg Van Avermaet retained the yellow jersey on a day that saw the Tour leader allowed to be part of a 29-man breakaway, packed with talented riders including Trek-Segafredo’s Fabian Cancellara and 2014 Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali. Cummings rode away from them all, cocking a snook at British Cycling’s Olympics selectors who have, to date, not selected him for the similarly lumpy Rio road race.