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“You needed to be at the front and that’s where we were. I just mistimed the sprint and went a little bit too early. We knew it was a bit of a tailwind finish but I could have waited for 50 or 100 metres more

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08.09.2014 @ 23:38 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ben Swift got close to a big win on home soil when he sprinted to second in stage 2 of the Tour of Britain. With a tailwind, the Brit launched a long sprint and regretted having started too early.

 

Ben Swift sprinted to second place in Llandudno after a thrilling finish to stage two at the Tour of Britain.

 

The peloton found itself stretched to near-breaking point over the scenic drag of Great Orme but strong work from Sir Bradley Wiggins helped pull the race back together inside the final kilometre.

 

Swift, who claimed the points jersey for his exploits, took advantage of a brief lull to launch his sprint early on the coast but was just caught and passed by Mark Renshaw (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) at the line.

 

The result moves the Yorkshireman up to second place overall, four seconds back on new leader Renshaw courtesy of bonus seconds at the finish. Wiggins came home 11th on the stage and remains ideally placed, 10 seconds back on the yellow jersey.

 

Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling) lit up the finale with a stinging attack on the narrow rise up Great Orme. Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp), Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Wiggins all quickly jumped on the move, but it was Alex Dowsett (Movistar) who pushed clear under the flamme rouge.

 

The former Team Sky rider had Chavanel for company and the finish in sight before Wiggins used his power to shut down the danger and set up the sprint.

 

After visiting the podium to pick up his points jersey Swift was full of praise for the team and looked ahead to a crucial stage on Tuesday.

 

“It was really hard out there," he admitted. "Bernie Eisel did the work of 10 men. He was one of the only guys pulling all day. The team were brilliant and sat together looking after each other.

 

“The finish was quite a tough one with a bit of a dangerous descent. You needed to be at the front and that’s where we were. I just mistimed the sprint and went a little bit too early. We knew it was a bit of a tailwind finish but I could have waited for 50 or 100 metres more.

 

“I’ve got the points jersey now but our main goal this week is to try and win the yellow jersey with Bradley Wiggins. He’s shown that he’s in great form. Tomorrow is going to be the big test so we’ll see how we handle that. Unfortunately we lost Ian Stannard due to his crash yesterday. That’s a massive loss to the team but we’ll see how tomorrow goes.”

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