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Britain's Ben Swift (Katusha) was just 22 on May 11 and is riding his first major Tour but he had the strength and courage to attack at the start of the 20th Giro d'Italia stage from Naples to Agnani and try and win.
Swift was the first to attack on the cobbled roads out of Naples, then another seven riders joined him and they opened a 3-43 gap.
Some of the bunch was ready to let them go but Di Luca wanted to go for the time bonus at the intermediate sprint and teams like Silence-Lotto and Columbia chased to set up their riders for the uphill finish. Swift’s attack was caught after 151km.
The work paid off for the Silence-Lotto team, with Philippe Gilbert winning ahead of Thomas Voeckler (Bbox). Swift finished 153rd in the main gruppetto at 13-28.
“I thought they might let it go on the last stage but they didn’t. But I had a go and so it was worth it. I was happy that I was still able to have a dig,” Swift told Cycling Weekly after the finish in Anagni.
“It was me who created the move at the bottom of the cobbled climb at the start. I wasn’t actually expecting the corners to be so tight and overcooked it a little bit and I got stuck behind the motorbikes. Then a group came across to me and we worked well but they (the bunch) never wanted up us to get anywhere. I got caught right at the bottom of the climb up to the intermediate sprint.”
Swift is 132nd overall, 3-42-06 before the final time trial in Rome but is proud to finish his first major Tour, knowing it will make him an even better rider.
He is also hoping that after a week of rest, it will give him so solid form to go for the British national championships at the end of June.
“It’s definitely nice to go out on a bit of a high and the last three weeks have definitely been a good experience. It’s been hard but I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said.
“The last five days were the toughest. The eight hour day (to Monte Petrano) finished me off really but I’ve got a rest now.“ I’m going back to UK next week and I’m riding the Smithfield nocturne on Saturday.”
“Then I’ve got some rest before the national championships. I’m looking forward to that. It’s going to be a good race and I’ve heard that almost all the European professionals have entered, so it’s going to be a real fight for the national champs jersey.”
Swift posted several top ten results in the Giro, and even put in an appearance on the podium on stage two after coming third behind Alessandro Petacchi (LPR) and Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad).
|Giro d'Italia 2009 links|
Stage 20: Gilbert springs late attack to win penultimate stage
Stage 19: Sastre takes second Giro mountain stage; Menchov safe in pink
Stage 18: Second Giro stage win for Scarponi
Stage 17: Pellizotti wins on Blockhaus, Menchov remains in pink
Giro rest day review (May 26)
Stage 16: Sastre wins stage to Monte Petrano
Stage 15: Bertagnolli gifted stage win by Cervelo mix-up
Stage 14: Gerrans solos to win
Stage 13: Cavendish takes his third Giro win and prepares to head home
Stage 12: Menchov storms to Giro TT win and race lead
Stage 11: Cavendish romps to second Giro stage win
Stage 10: Di Luca lays down the gauntlet
Giro rest day review (May 18)
Stage nine: Cavendish blitzes rivals to win in Milan
Stage eight: Siutsou makes it two in a row for Columbia-Highroad
Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage
Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break
Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey
Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey
Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash
Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win
Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin
Di Luca accepts Giro defeat
Di Luca still hoping to snatch Giro lead from Menchov
Wiggins getting ready for final Giro TT
Menchov brushes off boos and doping questions after the Blockhaus
Di Luca promises to fight to the end of the Giro
Garmin at the Giro: And then there were five
Stannard sees Rome after birthday pain
Di Luca out to topple Menchov on the Blockhaus
Bruyneel tips Menchov to win Giro
Giro Britannia: A long, hot slog in Italy
Leipheimer: Lance had to wait for me today (Stage 16)
Millar climbs off and heads home from Giro
Basso discovers he has few friends at the Giro (stage 15)
Froome agonisingly close to stage victory (stage 14)
Cavendish quits the Giro d'Italia
Cheeky Cipo sneaks a ride in the Giro
Cavendish: His most important Giro win yet (stage 13)
Comment: Lance vs the press, some things never change
Menchov's first pink jersey (Stage 12)
Wiggins: 'I went too hard at the start' (Stage 12 TT)
Lance and Levi: Ready for Giro time trial
Cavendish: 'Today brought back memories of San Remo' (stage 11)
Is Di Luca trying too hard, too soon?
Wiggins loses time in the Giro (stage 10)
Armstrong and Basso say sorry for Giro protest
How are the Giro favourites doing?
Cavendish says 'I'm addicted to winning'
Riders stage go-slow protest during Giro stage in Milan
Cavendish cool before Milan sprint
No sympathy for Armstrong from Giro boss
Boasson Hagen celebrates his birthday early
Cavendish overjoyed for Boasson Hagen
Armstrong 'livid' at dangerous Giro stage
Astana riders wear faded kit in protest over unpaid wages
Armstrong sees Leipheimer in pink
Giro news round-up: 14 May
Wiggins: 'I can't keep smashing away on the climbs'
Wiggins eyes top 20 finish overall
Armstrong after Giro stage 5: 'That was hard'
Cavendish looking for Giro revenge
Armstrong happy with stage four performance
Lovkvist will fight to keep Giro lead
Giro could be last race for Armstrong's team
Vande Velde crashes out of Giro
Petacchi claims he didn't know of Cavendish crash
Cavendish struggles to find consolation in pink jersey
Petacchi: I've been working out how to beat Cav
I'm wearing pink on behalf of the team, says Cavendish
Wiggins ready to win Giro team time trial
Friday, May 8: Giro news round-up
Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial
Team time trial start times
Cycling Weekly's Giro d'Italia top ten prediction
Brits in Venice for Giro presentation
Armstrong overshadows overall favourites at Giro presentation
Armstrong confident of finding new sponsor for Astana
Armstrong working to save Astana team
Wiggins in top form for Giro
Garmin Slipstream kitted out for Giro opener
Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up
Armstrong's special Giro bikes unveiled
Daniel Lloyd overlooked for Giro ride
Cummings and Thomas not selected for Giro d'Italia
Cavendish tests Giro form at Tour of Romandie
David Millar confirms he's riding in 2009 Giro
Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints
2009 Giro d'Italia to start in Venice
Evans and Silence-Lotto disagree on Giro 2009 ride
Armstrong to ride 2009 Giro
Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d'Italia route
Dolce & Gabbana design new Giro jersey
2009 Giro d'Italia guide and features
Find the pink jersey competition
Giro d'Italia 2009: The Big Preview
British riders to have led the grand tours
CW's Giro top ten prediction
Brits in the Giro 2009
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
CW Classic: the 1987 Giro d'Italia
2008 Giro d'Italia archive
Giro d'Italia 2008 coverage index - race reports, photos, results
From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia
Giro 2008: The final word on this year's race
Brits at the 2008 Giro: photo special
Five days to go, what's in store?
Giro d'Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)
Giro d'Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)
Giro d'Italia 2008 preview
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