CW's British performances of 2011: No. 11
Steve Cummings wins stage three and takes lead, Tour of the Algarve 2011
Number 11: Steve Cummings beats Alberto Contador
February, Tour of the Algarve
It was early in the season and the big-name riders were just coming out of hibernation.
But even though it was only an early season race in Portugal, Steve Cummings outsprinted Alberto Contador, the Tour, Giro and Vuelta champion, in an uphill finish.
Cummings was in great company on the Alto de Malhao. He approached the finish in a group with Tony Martin, Rein Taarame, Tejay Van Garderen and Contador, having left the likes of Andreas Kloden, Roman Kreuziger and Ryder Hesjedal behind.
This was proper climber's territory.
And when it came down to the finish, Cummings showed his class, opening a gap over the others to clinch a morale-boosting victory.
He was clearly in great shape and looking forward to a good season. Unfortunately, he was struck down by illness in the spring and missed all of his major objectives for the year, although he did come back strong at the end to play a big part in Mark Cavendish's world title win.