Swift pipped to first Stage win

CYCLIST Ben Swift came agonisingly close to recording his first Grand Tour stage victory when he finished in third place yesterday's second stage of the three-week Tour of Spain.

After a distance of 181km and over four-and-a-half hours of racing on day two from Pamplona to Viana, the entire field of getting on for 200 riders were together as they passed under the red kite shaped banner that marked 1km to the finish.

It was at this point that Team Sky man Swift (24), along with many of the rest of the cycling world's top sprinters from the various teams, took to the head of the race.

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The Rotherham man, who had skilfully worked himself into a potentially winning position without a Team Sky lead out train, was just metres from the line when he was caught by Germany's John Degenkolb.

Ben will be looking for other opportunities for a stage win on the flatter sections of the race that this 67th year is taking in a particularly mountainous route on the roads of Northern Spain.

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