Sprint success for Swift
Team Sky rider takes second stage win in Poland
Last Updated: 14/07/12 6:46pm
Swift: Second stage win of the race
Team Sky's Ben Swift claimed his second stage win at the Tour de Pologne after sprinting to a superb victory in Zakopane.
The British rider came from several metres back in the final kilometre to beat Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Pim Ligthart (Vaconsoleil-DCM) to the line on stage five.
The show of strength extended Swift's lead in the points classification, while Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) hung onto top spot in the overall standings by one second ahead of Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale).
An earlier breakaway had formed consisting of Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), Rafael Andriato (Farnese Vini), Mickael Delage (FDJ-BigMat), Bert de Backer (Argos-Shimano) and Davide Mucelli (Utensilnord-Named).
Ignatiev forged on ahead of his companions as the tough, lumpy finishing circuit began to take its toll on the riders, with Delage also alone further down the road.
The fight for the overall win sparked into life at an intermediate sprint as Moser halved his deficit to Kwiatkowski by taking a bonus second over the Polish rider.
Ignatiev and Delage were both caught well before the finish, which triggered several attacks from the peloton, and when the dust settled it was Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Nissan) and Maciek Bodnar (Liquigas-Cannondale) who took things up at the head of the field.
British champion Ian Stannard (Team Sky) did well to bridge across on a descent along with Jaroslaw Marycz (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), but when the road started to kick up towards the finish Bakelants went away solo.
The Belgian was reeled in with just over 3km to go, however, with the sprint trains then forming on the high-speed run to the line.
In the tough last kilometre, Michael Matthews (Rabobank) and Viviani formed a gap and looked like they would fight it out amongst themselves for the stage win.
But Swift bridged across the gap with several other riders on his wheel and still had enough left in the legs to come around the leading duo and take the win.