Ben Swift ‘missed Team Sky's unity’ as he takes Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana stage two podium

The Brit has returned to his home team after two seasons at UAE Team Emirates

Ben Swift at the 2017 Tour Down Under
(Image credit: Graham Watson)

Ben Swift says he missed Team Sky’s unity as he took a podium finish in the Volta a Valenciana stage two sprint.

The Brit is making his 2019 debut at the Spanish stage race after re-joining his home team at the start of the season.

Team Sky charged in the closing kilometres, but were swamped by solo efforts from rival sprinters in the final turns as Swift held on to take third.

The 31-year-old said: “The guys were incredible – it’s what I’ve really missed, that real team unity.

“We waited ever so slightly too long just as we started the final push on the lead-out.”

>>> ‘It’s beautiful to be back’ – Esteban Chaves makes return at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana after eight month absence

Fellow Brit Chris Lawless was the final lead-out man supporting Swift in the final kilometre.

But sprinters Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and stage winner Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) passed the remains of the Sky lead-out heading into the final two turns, with Trentin taking the glory.

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Swift added: “They came up three or four kph faster than us so it was just about trying to catch up.

“It was a really good job from the guys and the legs are feeling good.

“With Chris [Lawless] being a second year pro it’s really good experience for him to do a lead-out.

“He’s going to be the sprinter for this team in the next couple of years, so for him to learn what he needs and what he wants of a lead-out rider is good.”

Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas was also working for Swift, leading the race with 10km left to race.

>>> Geraint Thomas confirms he won’t ride Giro d’Italia to focus on Tour de France defence

Thomas and team-mate Diego Rosa are the best placed Team Sky riders after stage two, both sitting 20 seconds down to race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data).

Swift added: “It’s nice to get a good result.

“It shows I’ve been training pretty well and I handled the climbs really well.

“But in hindsight I wish I’d gone a little bit earlier.”

The race continues with a hilly third stage that is likely to separate the general classification further.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.