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"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."

Photo: Sirotti

COPPI E BARTALI

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TEAM SKY

NEWS
27.03.2015 @ 20:57 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ben Swift claimed a classy solo victory on stage two at Settimana Coppi e Bartali to move into the race lead.

 

The Brit showed impressive climbing legs to jump clear on the final ascent of the Ville di Monte Tiffi, making his way into a three-man escape before attacking into the final kilometre.

 

Swift replicated the result of team-mate Pete Kennaugh 12 months earlier to win into Sogliano al Rubicone, and now holds a 41-second lead at the top of the standings.

 

Team Sky bided their time before hitting the front on the final lap of the 160.2km test. As predicted the concluding climb blew the race apart, with Swift pushing clear alongside Mathias Kvasina (Felbermayr) and Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF).

 

Kanstantsin Siutsou was also active during the finale and crossed the line eighth on the day as part of a chasing group. Like Swift the Belarusian benefited from his team time trial heroics on Thursday, moving up to fifth on GC, 1:17 back on his team-mate.

 

 

"It was a typical Yorkshire day out," Swift joked as he caught up with TeamSky.com after the race.

 

“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.”

 

 

Seven riders headed clear under grey skies and rainclouds as stage two got under way in Sant’ Angelo di Gatteo.

 

Five ascents of the Ville di Monte Tiffi made for a tough day and it was CCC Sprandi Polkowice who set the early pace, keeping the gap stable at around two minutes.

 

The gap came down as the test wore on, and eventually the race blew apart on the final climb as Swift made his move.

 

Overnight leader Davide Rebellin (CCC Sprandi Polkowice) fell into difficulties on the climb and it was Swift who emerged from the gloom victorious.

 

“Ben rode incredibly today,” confirmed Sports Director Dario Cioni. “It shows that physically he was ready for San Remo. He did a great job to get ready for that race. It didn’t pay off for him on the day but it certainly did today.

 

“We measured our efforts as we’ve only got four riders left now. CJ (Sutton) and (Ian) Boswell both stopped today but the guys we’ve got left are really solid. It’s game on.”

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