Steve Cummings says that Rod Ellingworth should resign as Great Britain’s road race coach due to a conflict of interest. Speaking of his omission from the Olympic road race team, Cummings said: “It’s not really a surprise when the Team Sky coach picks the team.”
Orica-GreenEdge’s Adam Yates is the only non-Sky rider in an Olympic team that is completed by Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh and Ian Stannard.
Cummings, who currently rides for Team Dimension Data, told cyclingnews.com:
“I think we need a new coach because of a conflict of interest.
“That’s my opinion and maybe I’ll never ride for GB again but if that’s the way it is, then that’s the way it is. If you win the races I’ve won this year, in the way I’ve won them, and you don’t get picked then you might as well say what you think.
“I criticise the coach. I criticise the tactics, I criticise the selection criteria, and I criticise British Cycling.”
Great Britain head coach, Iain Dyer, told The Guardian: “Without going too deep into our strategy, if you look at the make-up of the team you can see riders who are capable of winning, riders who are capable of going the distance and supporting in some of the more arduous parts of the race, and some who play the more domestique-style roles.”
Cummings claims he was marked down on commitment. “I asked why and they said that they needed to think what if it rained. Then I said that it snowed in Liège [Bastogne-Liège] but that I was still there in the final. Basically it’s an opinion. They mark you on physical, tactical, and whatever, so you put the number down how you want to make sure he comes out with more points than the other guy.”
Without naming names, Cummings added that it was just as legitimate to question the commitment of “the guy who stopped in the Tour de France last year” – almost certainly a reference to Peter Kennaugh.
He then finished by making the tactical case for the inclusion of a rider such as himself.
“I think that the Olympic Games is a very open race. If you sit behind and pull then they will end up in the situation they did in 2012. You have to send riders up the road and who better to send up the road than me? It’s doesn’t mean I have to collaborate. I could just sit there and say I’m waiting for Froome but that works better for him. If thirty guys go up the road then you’ve got four pulling against thirty. It’s mathematics.”