Britain’s Steve Cummings produced one of the rides of his career to claim a sensational victory on Stage 14 of the Tour de France, while Chris Froome tightened his grip on the yellow jersey by extending his lead.
The 34-year-old Cummings, a MTN-Quebeka rider, was part of a 20-man breakaway and seized his chance to rein in Romain Bardet and Thibaut Pinot with a late surge to the line.
It was a remarkable win for Cummings’ South African team, who were offered a wildcard for this year’s race, and their maiden Tour de France win coincides with Nelson Mandela Day.
Froome also finished strongly to widen the gap at the top of the overall classification, and now leads Movistar's Nairo Quintana – who finished just behind the Team Sky rider – by 3:10 minutes, after Tejay Van Garderen struggled on the steep climb to the finish in Mende.
But the day belonged to a tearful Cummings, who admitted winning his first stage on Le Tour was the realisation of his childhood fantasies.
“I always thought I was capable of this, and it was just about finding the right team to give me this opportunity,” he said.
“The team have just let me stay calm for the first week, and we’ve been at the back a lot – taking it easy and not crashing.
“But they’ve had real faith in me, and I just wanted to deliver for them. It’s so hard to win here and I’m just delighted for everyone in the team. It’s a brilliant moment for us.
“I’m not the strongest climber, there are much better climbers out there, and I knew it would be really difficult to win.
“I was just waiting in the last 10km for an opportunity. It was a good moment to go for it, and you’re always waiting for the right moment.
“As a kid I always dreamed of winning a stage like this from a big breakaway. It’s what I’ve wanted to do my whole career, and I study breakaways.
“I love watching them unfold, it’s my favourite part of the race in a Grand Tour, and so this means the world to me.”
© Sportsbeat 2015