Team Sky boss hails Ben Swift Tour of Romandy stage win

Ben Swift celebrates winning the final stage at the the Tour of Romandy
Swift next races in the 15-22 May Tour of California

Team Sky chief Sean Yates was full of praise for Ben Swift after the 23-year-old picked up his fourth stage victory of the season at the Tour of Romandy.

It was the latest highlight in a memorable campaign for Swift, who collected two wins at the Tour Down Under and one at Castilla y Leon.

"The team set out to give him 100% support and he's delivered the goods again," said sports director Yates.

"It was perfect teamwork and a nice way to finish the week."

Australia's Cadel Evans retained his 18-second lead in the overall standings to collect his second Tour of Romandy title.

But the fifth and final stage - a 102.3-mile ride from Champagne to Geneva - belonged to the highly rated Swift.

The Rotherham-born rider got the better of former world champion Oscar Freire of Rabobank in a bunch finish, with Leopard Trek's Davide Vigano coming home third.

"My team did an absolutely brilliant job until the end," added Swift, who next races in the 15-22 May Tour of California.

"We went round that last corner and I think there were still four or five guys on the front.

"It was going so fast and was a brilliant effort from everyone. I couldn't ask for anything more.

"To beat a great champion like Oscar is fantastic."

Swift's triumph stemmed from some fine work by his team-mates, who helped make sure the field was together when it mattered.

The last of the day's breaks was closed down with around 5km remaining and the Team Sky lead-out train controlled things thereafter.

Geraint Thomas made a move inside the final kilometre before Chris Sutton guided Swift to the head of the field and the Yorkshireman powered to the line.

Vigano, who had been on his wheel, and then Freire were unable to overhaul him in the closing 200m.

"In Swifty's wheel was Vigano and on Vigano's wheel was Freire," stated Yates.

"Swifty hit out from about the 250m-mark and you always fear that the guys are going to come off his wheel but they couldn't get past him.

"It was a great win."

Of his superb season to date, Swift commented: "It's all a bit surprising but I had the best winter's training I've ever had and it's really paying off now.

"The Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse are next up for me and I'll just keep trying to do the best I can."

Chris Froome was Team Sky's highest-placed rider overall in 15th, with Dario Cioni - second in the sprint points standings - 26th, Morris Possoni 43rd, Michael Barry 60th and Bradley Wiggins 62nd.

Swift finished 67th, while Thomas was 88th and Sutton 112th.

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