Sky's Swift wins second stage in the Tour of Picardie
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sky's Swift wins second stage in the Tour of Picardie

by Bjorn Haake at 12:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Young Brit shines on day two

Ben Swift of the Sky team topped an English-speaking podium by winning the bunch gallop in the second stage of the Tour of Picardie. The Briton beat Australian Allan Davis (Astana) and  Russell Downing, who is Swift's teammate and compatriot. The same three riders lead the overall classification now, with one stage to go.

Sky's lead-out was so fast that after nine riders finished, there was a six-second gap. "It's all thanks to them [teammates] really, the guys have been amazing," Swift said after the finish on the team's website. "They did an awesome job with the lead-out and from what I hear there were only about ten guys left at the end."

Not among the nine was Kenny van Hummel, who lost  his race lead to Swift. The Briton's win came despite a tangle with Davis. "Unfortunately I had a little incident with Allan Davis when I sort of fell sideways and banged into him. It was a complete accident and I apologized to him and he understands," Swift added.

The focus now switches to Sunday's final stage and a potential first overall victory for Team Sky. "I've got a gap of ten seconds now and there's only ten seconds on the line tomorrow so hopefully if all goes well I can get the overall win," said Swift.

His director Steven de Jongh has only one goal in mind. "We'll obviously look to control the race and the guys are ready to do just that."  De Jongh hopes for of the same as today. "The lead-out was terrific again, absolutely spot-on. Peter Kennaugh had started the work to get the front group back with about 30km to go. He worked well with Skil-Shimano, RadioShack, Astana and the Vacansoleil teams.

"So we were all together for the last five km and it all went to plan from there. At the top of the hill we had enough horsepower for the lead-out and there was a big side wind so they took the left side of the road and put everyone under real pressure."

The one moment of slight concern came in the final couple of hundred meters, as de Jongh explained: "Ben had a little problem with his chain, which was shifting, and he almost crashed. He went into Davis who was a bit upset but it was not on purpose, it was a racing accident."

Swift also holds the points jersey and  Sky is first in the teams classification. Can't get much better than that.

Results stage 2

1. Ben Swift (Team Sky) 4h08'30
2. Allan Davis (Astana)
3. Russell Downing (Team Sky)
4. Mikhaylo Khalilov (Katusha Team)
5. Alexandre Pichot (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)
6. David De La Fuente (Astana)
7. Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
8. Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator)
9. Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team)
10. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Caisse D’Epargne) 0'06

Overall classification after stage 2

1. Ben Swift (Team Sky) 8h24'19
2. Allan Davis (Astana) 0'10
3. Russell Downing (Team Sky) 0'12
4. Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) 0'16
5. Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) 0'16
6. Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Euskaltel - Euskadi) 0'16
7. Alexandre Pichot (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) 0'16
8. David De La Fuente (Astana) 0'16
9. Mikhaylo Khalilov (Katusha Team) 0'16
10. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano) 0'21


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