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"It was an aggressive last 50km and then a super aggressive last 10km. I just started to cramp a little and I was just lacking that final bit - but hopefully each race I do I'll get that bit stronger and get that racing rhythm back...

Photo: Sirotti




02.08.2015 @ 21:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ben Swift made an impressive return from injury at the RideLondon Classic as he sprinted to third place.


The Yorkshireman was taking part in his first race back following shoulder surgery and was able to follow the key moves in the closing stages to put himself in a strong position heading onto The Mall.


After attacking to try and push clear of an elite group of riders on the run-in, Swift found himself embroiled in a four-up sprint, opening up the accelerations to take third.


Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC Racing) had the power in his legs to win the sprint after 200 kilometres, leading home Mike Teunissen (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Swift. Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) held on for fourth after his promising late attack was closed down.


The foundations for Swift's second consecutive podium finish in the event were laid as attacks fired on Box Hill. Following the moves the Team Sky rider was able to take advantage of a stretched peloton to eventually head into the final 40km in a group of eight riders.



"It was a nice race to come back," said Swift. "It was an aggressive last 50km and then a super aggressive last 10km. I just started to cramp a little and I was just lacking that final bit - but hopefully each race I do I'll get that bit stronger and get that racing rhythm back.


"Tomorrow I travel out to the Tour of Denmark to start that race and then I'll go out to Brazil to do the Olympic test event and see what that's all about. 


"There was a lot of support out there and I saw a few banners for myself. That's just how cycling is in the UK now it's massive. But to be honest on that last 50km it's pretty full on. You see everything and you can hear a lot but you can't really take it all in. There are a lot of potholes out there you're trying to dodge!"


Team Sky had helped to control the race up to that point, with Bernhard Eisel and debuting stagiaire Alex Peters setting a tempo alongside Etixx - Quick-Step on the front of the bunch.


Third time over the Ranmore climb the pace went up, with Box Hill putting a number of riders into difficulties before the elastic eventually snapped.


Peters finished in the peloton after a strong first race and the young Londoner admitted it had been a proud moment.


"I had a massive smile on my face and couldn't wipe it off for ages before the start," he said. "I was sitting on the bus heading to the start in the new kit. It was a nice feeling.


"Today was more about staying with Bernie (Eisel). He's the captain on the road and he gave the instructions as there is no race radios. We were going to work for (Elia) Viviani in a sprint if it came down to it and then all the guys were marking things to make sure we were present in the right moves in the final. Ben managed to get on the podium which is great."



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