The 4th stage of Tirreno-Adriatico turned out to be a dream day for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka as Steve Cummings took the victory ahead of Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky) with teammate Eritrean National Road Race Champion Natnael Berhane finishing in 3rd position.
The Eritrean pride Natnael Berhane has won numerous stage races in his pro cyclist carreer for instance winning the overall General Classification of Tropicale Amissa Bongo in 2014 and the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey in 2013.
Attacks started to fly from the front group with Steve Cummings and Natnael Berhane covering each one, hoping to keep the race together for Boasson Hagen. Puccio then put in a telling attack with 6km to go which Cummings and Matteo Montaguti (Ag2R) followed. The trio got a 10 second gap before 3 riders jumped across the gap to join them, Berhane was part of this move placing our African Team in a great position with 2 riders in the lead group of 6.
The chase never seemed to come from the peloton and so with 3km to go, Steve Cummings saw his opportunity and attacked. Nobody could follow our British time trial expert as he soloed to a great win, the first World Tour victory as Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
Natnael Berhane was part of the sprint for the minor placings and took 3rd place on the line.
This 3rd place finish in Stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico 2016 is, therefore, his first World Tour podium win ever.
Steve Cummings – Rider
The plan for the day was to ride for Edvald. In the final when it was just a select group we were trying to close down all the attacks and keep the race together so he could sprint for the victory. When I got away with the Pucchio and Montaguti in the final I didn’t ride on the front because we had Edvald behind. Then Natnael came across and the other guys just kept riding and we sat on. With 3km to go though I saw the victory was being served up on platter for me as the group behind wasn’t coming back, so I took it, I knew I could stay away. I am happy the team could get the win today, we had the numbers today and it worked out really well for us. It’s a great win for the Team, for our sponsors and for Qhubeka.
Natnael Berhane – Rider
I am really happy with the result today. Steve won the stage which is terrific for our team and I was 3rd. This podium placing in a World Tour race is my best result ever, I couldn’t be happier.