Swift revels in Yorkshire conditions in Italy win

Ben Swift

Ben Swift

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Yorkshire’s Ben Swift claimed his first victory of the season with a breakaway win at the Coppi e Bartali stage race in Italy.

The 27-year-old Team Sky sprinter from Rotherham has opened up a 41-second lead in the race courtesy of Friday’s victory.

Swift won into Sogliano al Rubicone after showing impressive legs on the final ascent before playing his part in a three-man escape and then attacking in the final kilometre.

“It was a typical Yorkshire day out,” Swift joked on TeamSky.com

“I felt good out there. I never felt in difficulty. We had a plan that I would just try and hang on and stay there.

“We knew my form was good from Milan-San Remo last week. That was one of my big targets this year. The form’s there and it was just nice to be able to utilise it today.

“When they attacked I followed. Initially I thought maybe I shouldn’t have done it as I might be tired for the sprint.

“But I was feeling pretty good and actually forced it on once we attacked. It was a strange feeling, especially to win solo. I’ve always wanted to win solo.

“I’ve joked around with Pete (Kennaugh) about it in the past. It’s almost on my bucket list to win a bike race on my own.

“Last time I won solo was 10 years ago at the Junior Tour of Wales. It’s not the sort of thing that happens very often for me.

“I’ve got a pretty decent gap on GC. Tomorrow is a sprint day so I’ll try and get up there to get a few more bonus seconds.

“It’s a different finish to last year – a really hard stage with a hilltop finish. So I’ve got my work cut out. It’s not a done deal yet.”

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