Swift third in Alicante

07 Feb 2019

Swift third in Alicante

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Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage two: Alicante – Alicante, 166km

Ben Swift sprinted to third place on day two in Valencia after a strong leadout from Team Sky.
 
The Brit was back in the podium places on his full racing return with Team Sky, taking advantage of good positioning on a technical finish in Alicante.
 
Geraint Thomas had led the team to the front of the race with 10km to go, and from there our riders pushed the pace on the run-in with Ian Stannard, Salvatore Puccio and Diego Rosa.
 
Chris Lawless joined Swift at the head of the race under the flamme rouge and finished 10th on the day, with Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) picking up the victory.
 
The race had been lined out over the top of the final La Carrasqueta climb, with the peloton pushing hard to distance Team Jumbo-Visma’s Dylan Groenewegen after the Dutchman lost contact on the climb.

The bunch finish did not change the general classification, with Diego Rosa and Geraint Thomas both sitting 20 seconds back ahead of more selective stages to come.
Ben Swift

Ben Swift

It's nice to get a good result. It shows I've been training pretty well and I handled the climbs really well. But in hindsight I wish I'd gone a little bit earlier.
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- Ben Swift

"The guys were incredible. It's what I've really missed - that real team unity. When we decided to go we took it on. We waited ever so slightly too long just as we started the final push on the leadout. They came three or four kph faster than us so it was just about trying to catch up. And with that roundabout being a little bit precarious where you entered that was where you came out really.

"It was a really good job from the guys and the legs are feeling good. With Chris (Lawless) being a second year pro it's really good experience for him to do a leadout. He's going to be the sprinter for this team in the next couple of years. So for him to learn what he needs and what he wants of a leadout rider is good.

"It's nice to get a good result. It shows I've been training pretty well and I handled the climbs really well. But in hindsight I wish I'd gone a little bit earlier, if I'd have started my sprint with the idea of finishing at the roundabout."
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What's Next?

A hilly third stage should start to see more time gaps appear on the general classification. Six categorised climbs pepper a day of constant undulations. The third category Salto de la Mora provides the finale, before a final steep drag to the finish.

Stage two result:

1. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) 4:10:12
2. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) s.t.
3. Ben Swift (Team Sky)
4. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Merida)
5. Alexander Kristoff (UAE-Team Emirates)
10. Chris Lawless (Team Sky)

Overall standings:

1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) 4:23:07
2. Ion Izagirre (Astana) +5"
3. Tony Martin (Team Jumbo-Visma) +7"
4. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) +8"
5. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) +11"
10. Diego Rosa (Team Sky) +20"
11. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) s.t

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