Vuelta Pais Vasco – Ben Swift wins stage 5


Yorkshire’s Ben Swift won stage 5 of Vuelta Pais Vasco and is now 3rd in the Points GC – Contador still leads overall

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Vuelta Pais Vasco – Ben Swift wins stage 5

The Sheffield rider continued his strong run of form to finish in a select and elite front group of 23 riders and win the sprint in fine style.

With general classification contenders attacking each other on the final second-category climb into Markina, Swift weathered the storm and demonstrated his climbing class before placing himself perfectly in the final kilometre.Simon Yates was also part of the select group of 22 riders at the front of the race.

Opening up the sprint the Team Sky rider held off Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Michal Kwiatkoswki (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) at the line, capturing his second win of the year and first at WorldTour level since 2012.

Leader Alberto Contador found himself without team-mates on the final peak and the battle between the leader and rival Valverde resumed as the latter attacked. Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) stuck fast to his compatriot’s wheel onto the descent where the pair were joined by stage four winner Poels (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step). The trio held a small advantage over a reduced chasing pack but were reeled in just as they headed under the two kilometre banner.

That provided Swift with his moment to shine, while Contador finished comfortably in the chasing pack to maintain his 12-second lead.

Early Doors
Today was the last chance for riders wanting to get in a break and a strong group of sixteen riders got clear whilst Tinkoff-Saxo were content to set a decent tempo at the front of the race and kept the escapees at arm’s length.

Movistar took over on the Alto de Izua in a bid to thin out the peloton while up ahead the breakaway started to split. As the pace cranked up in the peloton, a selection was made with Ben Swift climbing to the occasion before celebrating long and loud a great win. “Very very happy to finally win a stage in Pais Vasco. Tough old day” he said afterwards.

Movistar’s team leader Alejandro Valverde, second to Swift, said of the stage “There’s the two of us, Alberto and myself, fighting close to each other for the overall classification, with many others not far behind, and we have to take chances in every possible place.”

“I tried to attack in San Miguel, we went away, but it was difficult – there was much headwind and they caught us into the final 2k of flat. It’s true that the contest looks more inclined towards the two of us, but still riders like Kwiatkowski or Evans can make it difficult for us, and tomorrow’s TT is a hard one. Should the wind blow like today, it will be a head wind in the beginning. The first climb is not so hard, but the second is rather demanding.”

Ben Swift – what a celebration!

1 SWIFT Ben Team Sky 03:56:56
2 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar Team
3 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4 SLAGTER Tom-Jelte Garmin Sharp
5 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre-Merida
6 GAUTIER Cyril Team Europcar
7 HIVERT Jonathan Belkin-Pro Cycling Team
8 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R La Mondiale
9 CONTADOR Alberto Tinkoff-Saxo
10 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team

15 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team
16 YATES Simon Orica GreenEDGE
17 POELS Wout Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
19 SáNCHEZ Samuel BMC Racing Team
20 KISERLOVSKI Robert Trek Factory Racing
22 MARTIN Tony Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
24 ROLLAND Pierre Team Europcar 01:05
26 KREUZIGER Roman Tinkoff-Saxo 01:39
27 SANCHEZ Luis Leon Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
30 GILBERT Philippe BMC Racing Team 02:17
39 YATES Adam Orica GreenEDGE @ 4.39
53 COSTA Rui Lampre-Merida 12:48
54 VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen Lotto Belisol
59 ALBASINI Michael Orica GreenEDGE
72 SCHLECK Fränk Trek Factory Racing 17.26
115 SCHLECK Andy Trek Factory Racing
116 VOIGT Jens Trek Factory Racing
119 EDMONDSON Joshua Team Sky 18:09

1 CONTADOR Alberto Tinkoff-Saxo 20:30:31
2 VALVERDE Alejandro Movistar Team 00:12
3 CUNEGO Damiano Lampre-Merida 00:36
4 EVANS Cadel BMC Racing Team
5 PERAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R La Mondiale
6 TROFIMOV Yuri Team Katusha
7 KWIATKOWSKI Michal Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:41
8 LANDA Mikel Astana Pro Team 00:54
9 POELS Wout Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:55
10 SáNCHEZ Samuel BMC Racing Team 00:56
11 SLAGTER Tom-Jelte Garmin Sharp
12 PINOT Thibaut
13 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team 00:58
14 SPILAK Simon Team Katusha
15 YATES Simon Orica GreenEDGE 01:37



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