Casper sprints to Picardie win; Swift bags overall title
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Casper sprints to Picardie win; Swift bags overall title

by Bjorn Haake at 11:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Team Sky secures first overall win

Ben Swift won the three-day Tour of Picardie in France to get one of his biggest wins as a professional. Swift ended the day in ninth place in the bunch sprint that was won by Frenchman Jimmy Casper. Swift was seven seconds ahead of Koldo Fernandez (Euskaltel) and ten seconds on Allan Davis (Astana).

This was also the first overall title for the new Sky team. "I was in a strong position but we needed to keep an eye on the bonus seconds," Swift said after the race. "With Allan Davis not picking up anything there, all I needed to do then was finish inside the top 20."

It was once again an effort by every rider on the Sky team. "They did an awesome job again to control the race right from the word go, they looked after me the whole day. It was perfect and without them I'd have been nowhere."

The 22-year-old was pleased with his landmark victory. "It's the first GC for me and the first for the team so hopefully now we can pick up a few more."

Sports Director Steven de Jongh was  echoed Swift's reaction. "We stuck together throughout and it was brilliant teamwork.

"This morning it looked really good as Davis had to take bonus seconds and win the stage. And once he didn't get those bonus seconds it meant Ben had to finish outside the top 20. But with the form he's been in - and backed up by the team - that was always unlikely.

"The guys were all really happy after the finish as you'd expect and a first GC win for Team Sky is something special."

Results stage three

1. Jimmy Casper (Saur-Sojasun) 4h02'06
2. Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
3. Danilo Napolitano (Katusha Team)
4. Lloyd Mondory (Ag2R-La Mondiale)
5. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Caisse D’Epargne)
6. Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Skil-Shimano)
7. David Boucher (Landbouwkrediet)
8. Allan Davis (Astana)
9. Ben Swift (Team Sky)
10. Arnaud Coyot (Caisse D’Epargne)

Final overall classification

1. Ben Swift (Team Sky) 12h26'25"
2. Koldo Fernandez De Larrea (Euskaltel - Euskadi) 0'07
3. Allan Davis (Astana) 0'10
4. Russell Downing (Team Sky) 0'12
5. Michael Van Staeyen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) 0'16
6. Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team) 0'16
7. Alexandre Pichot (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) 0'16
8. Steven Van Vooren (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) 0'19
9. Mikhaylo Khalilov (Katusha Team) 0'20
10. Jimmy Casper (Saur-Sojasun) 0'21


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