News – Swift leads Ruta Del Sol


Yorkshire’s Ben Swift (Team Sky) surged into the race lead at the Ruta del Sol after sprinting to second place on stage three in Padul.

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News – Swift leads Ruta Del Sol


The Brit was beaten to the line by Oscar Gatto (Tinkoff) but the 28-year-old’s consistency was rewarded with the overall lead, following his 11th place on the opening day and podium finish on day two.

Team leader Wout Poels rolled in 15th to keep him in the running ahead of the last two days in southern Spain, when the climbers are likely to come to the fore. A nine-man breakaway formed early in the stage and on an undulating parcours they built a solid gap of nearly seven minutes.

But the peloton never seemed unduly worried and at the 80 kilometre mark, with the gap at four minutes, Movistar upped the pace and the breakaway was quickly reeled in. With the race back together by the time the riders reached the day’s final climb, with 25km of the 157.9km stage left, Team Sky set a punishing tempo up the second-category ascent, with Vasil Kiryienka particularly impressive up front.


Dani Navarro (Cofidis) attacked on the climb and was later joined by Omar Fraile (Dimension Data), and although the pair kept the chasing peloton at bay on the descent, they were caught inside the final few kilometres as the pace was upped on the run into Padul.

Swift was protected brilliantly by his team-mates and was afforded a better lead-out than he had been on day two but, despite starting his sprint early, Gatto had too much for the new race leader.


Nearly perfect

Sport Director Dario Cioni was happy to see Swift move into the leader’s jersey, but admitted it wasn’t quite the perfect day. He said: “It turned out to be a good day but not the perfect day we had hoped for. We only got the leader’s jersey when we wanted the stage win too, but it’s nice to see the team working really well again, and it’s just a pity Ben couldn’t get on top of the podium.

“Kiryienka is in really good shape and Gianni [Moscon] did a really good job for a neo-pro. He’s showing that he can do some great stuff. Also Wout is really happy with himself and how he’s been supported by the team.”

Tomorrow’s stage is a 21km individual time trial and Cioni is confident team leader Poels will perform well. “Wout is really confident coming off the win at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and he wants to repeat that here. A good time trial is key to winning the GC and he won the time trial in Valencia so why can’t he repeat it?

“But let’s not forget we’ve still got Kiry, the world time trial champion. Hopefully we can come out with the stage win tomorrow.”



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