News – Swift seconds from Victory


Yorkshire’s Ben Swift finished the mountain stage in Settimana Coppi e Bartali only a few seconds adrift of overall victory

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News – Swift seconds from Victory

Ben Swift dug deep on the final stage of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali but missed out on the overall victory by just two seconds. It was Louis Meintjes who topped the general classification after faring better on the hilly terrain.

The MTN-Qhubeka rider attacked the peloton on the penultimate climb and wrapped up a solo victory on the uphill finish in Roccapelago one minute and 12 seconds ahead of the fourth-placed Swift.

It was the 10 bonus seconds awarded to Meintjes which proved pivotal – the South African began the day one minute and 20 seconds down on Swift, and secured his victory by just two seconds.

After the stage, Swift was understandably disappointed to have relinquished the leader’s jersey, but philosophical about the team’s performance over the four days of racing. He told “I gave absolutely everything I had today. There were 3500 metres of climbing, and the one where Meintjes went away was so steep.”

“It was 18% for about 1.5km and then had stepped section all the way to the summit. Luckily I had Sergio with me. He produced an unbelievable ride, especially after being out for the best part of a year through injury”.

“I had to keep telling him to slow down because I was on my limit, and once I’d recovered we went again. To lose the race by two seconds is gutting but I was so tired I couldn’t even get out of my saddle at the end. I keep thinking ‘what if’, but know I couldn’t have given any more”.

“I’ve got to look at the positives. Finishing second after such a mountainous week of racing is pleasing, and it was just unfortunate I got rolled on the line for third as that would’ve given me the bonus seconds I needed to win”.

“I’ve got to focus on the future now. I’ve got a busy schedule of racing coming up and I want to take this form into those and get some more results.”

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