Martin defends his Tour of Beijing title

Germany's Tony Martin of the Omega Pharma Quickstep team gestures as he sprints over the finish line during the second stage of the 2012 Tour of Beijing cycling race in Beijing. (Wang Zhao, AFP)

Germany's Tony Martin of the Omega Pharma Quickstep team gestures as he sprints over the finish line during the second stage of the 2012 Tour of Beijing cycling race in Beijing. (Wang Zhao, AFP)

Steve Cummings capped off a brilliant year for British cycling by taking the final stage of the Tour of Beijing on Saturday, but German Tony Martin reclaimed the title that he won last year.

Cummings, who races for the BMC Racing Team, claimed victory on day five of cycling's last tour of the season by outsprinting Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) in the final run-in.

The 31-year-old suffered an injury-plagued start to a season which has seen compatriot Bradley Wiggins win the Tour de France and Britain dominate in cycling at the London 2012 Olympics.

But he had the strength to hold off a powerful challenge from Canadian racer Hesjedal. The pair finished 17-seconds in front of third placed Edvald Boasson Hagen.

Norwegian Boasson Hagen's finish helped him seal third place in the overall standings in Beijing, behind Italian Francesco Gavazzi and champion Martin.

Martin cemented his victory on the second day of racing on Wednesday, when he finished a huge 46 seconds in front after making a breathtaking dash for the finishing line.

He has led on the overall standings throughout the remainder of the tour to reclaim the title he won last year – China's first World Tour calendar event.

The Omega Pharma-QuickStep racer took silver in the men's individual time trial at the Olympics this year.

Saturday's race started at Changping Stadium, which is north of the city centre, and finished 182.5km later at Pinggu, in Beijing's eastern suburbs. – Sapa-AFP.

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