Cummings wins longest Tirreno-Adriatico leg, Stybar leads
FOLIGNO, Italy (AP) Stephen Cummings of Britain rode solo to victory at the end of the fourth and longest stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico on Saturday while Zdenek Stybar retained the overall lead.
Cummings attacked with 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) remaining after being given the all-clear to do so by his Dimension Data team, and he swiftly opened up a large gap.
He had chased down several attacks in the final 20 kilometers to keep his teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen in contention.
''We were trying to do a stage for Edvald Boasson Hagen, we thought that he was the best chance for today, he's in super form,'' Cummings said. ''So I was there as the policeman but it came to 3 kilometers and normally I can do 3 kilometers alone. I tried to do that strategy. I don't know if that was ok but it seemed to work out. ... It was good having Edvald behind because it meant that I didn't have to do any work. It was a great team performance and I was just lucky at the end.''
Salvatore Puccio of Team Sky edged out Cummings' teammate Natnael Berhane to finish second, 13 seconds off the pace after more than six hours of cycling on the 216-kilometer ride from Montalto di Castro to Foligno.
Stybar finished in the bunch behind, preserving his nine-second advantage over Damiano Caruso.
The tough route contained four climbs in the second half of the stage, including the tricky ascent to Montefalco, which was covered twice in a long finishing circuit.
The finish town of Foligno was also the end of the first-ever stage when the race was first held in 1966.
The seven-day Tirreno-Adriatico continues Sunday with a 178-kilometer ride from Foligno to Monte San Vicino.