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"You can always say afterwards with hindsight but maybe we could have waited and then committed more riders to the sprint. Swifty actually rode the sprint like he should," Frost says

Photo: Sirotti






09.04.2014 @ 21:10 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having won the sprint for second in yesterday's stage, Ben Swift was hopeful that he could land a win in today's stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. After the Brit had to settle for fourth in the bunch sprint, his Sky team admitted that they had probably made a tactical mistake by forcing the pace on the final climb.


Ben Swift sprinted to fourth place after a bunch kick decided day three at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.


Team Sky committed numbers to the front during the stage as they looked to set up a sprint victory which had proved elusive 24 hours earlier.


Swift freestyled his way through a roundabout-strewn run-in and was on the wheel of stage winner Michael Matthews as the pair powered for the line.


The Australian (Orica-GreenEdge) claimed the win while Kevin Reza (Europcar) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) finished strongly to round out the podium.


Also in touch on a fast and difficult finale was Mikel Nieve, who maintained his general classification charge by finishing in the main bunch.


Remaining 36 seconds behind the yellow jersey of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Nieve dropped a place to eighth on account of stage placings, but remains firmly in play ahead of a return to the major climbs on Thursday.


Pete Kennaugh spent long stretches riding on the front during the stage, while Josh Edmondson and more Team Sky jerseys joined in the chase as the day’s break was reeled in.


After the stage Sports Director Dan Frost talked us through the gameplan as the team looked to set up Swift.


"We talked about putting on some pressure heading onto the final climbs," he confirmed. "But as it turned out there was a little headwind going into the second which made it a bit easier for some of the sprinters. The peloton actually did the climb in the big ring so it wasn’t actually the biggest challenge.


"You can always say afterwards with hindsight but maybe we could have waited and then committed more riders to the sprint. Swifty actually rode the sprint like he should. He was on the wheel of Matthews and opened when he had to open. After yesterday we thought today could be the day but if you never go for it than you never get it. The guys did a good job.”


Attention now turns to the GC battle. “Tomorrow it’s different and we have to protect Mikel for as far as possible,” continued the Dane. “Hopefully he’ll have the legs to go with the big favourites for as long as possible on the climb.


"For sure there will be a big battle between (Alejandro) Valverde and Contador. If Mikel can take some seconds away from others that can help him when it comes to the time trial.”



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