Rio 2016: Britain’s Steve Cummings can win Olympic gold

Steve Cummings

Steve Cummings (left) trains with British team-mates Chris Froome and Adam Yates

Tour de France champion Chris Froome is backing Great Britain team-mate Steve Cummings as a potential gold medallist for Saturday’s road race in Rio.

Cummings, who broke away to win stage seven on this year’s Tour, was a late replacement for Peter Kennaugh.

Froome, 31, played down his own chances over the 237.5km course, which starts and finishes at Flamengo Park.

“We have to put it together on the road and put our egos aside and try to get a medal,” said Froome.

“We have a team here that is able to adapt on the road and react to the different situations that unfold.

“If we can get him [Cummings] in a breakaway, we don’t have to use our energy chasing and if no-one else chases then he can ride away and win the Olympics.”

Kennaugh stepped aside after struggling for form following an injury, allowing 35-year-old Cummings to ride in a team that includes Adam Yates, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas.

Besides a Cummings breakaway, Froome believes riders such as Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali, Colombians Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao and Spain’s Alejandro Valverde will be suited to the four-lap circuit.

“It’s a real climber’s course,” added Froome, who will also compete in the time trial on Wednesday, an event in which he took bronze at London 2012.

“It’s not a three-week race like the Tour, when you make adjustments and think tactically over three weeks.

“In this race, you have to give it all on the day. You have to be willing to gamble and take your chances.”

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