Ben Swift took his second stage win in the Tour of Poland on Saturday after chasing down a late two-man attack and then propelling himself over the line to win the bunch sprint.
The British Sky rider somehow found the energy to effectively keep up a full-on sprint in the final 500 metres of the fifth stage to Zakopane. The Rotherham man picked his way through a messy sprint as it weaved its way back and forth, finally making his way to the head of the pack and staying there.
Swift’s dominance in the finale had Italian Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) banging on his handlebars in frustration for having to settle for second place. Pim Ligthart (Vacansoleil-DCM) finished third.
Earlier, Sky team-mate and British national champion Ian Stannard has tried his luck in an escape, but was reeled in within the final 10km after being dropped by fellow escapee Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Nissan) on the stage’s final climb.
Bakelants was also caught, setting up a chaotic bunch sprint to settle the stage win.
Swift’s latest victory comes on the back of placing second on Friday behind Aidis Kruopis (Orica-GreenEdge), and winning Wednesday’s stage. Swift leads the points classification.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) leads overall with two stages remaining of the WorldTour-level event.
Tour of Poland 2012, stage five: Rabka to Zakopane
1. Ben Swift (GBr) Sky in 4-01-22
2. Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
3. Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
4. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank all same time
Overall classification after stage five
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 22-08-54
2. Moreno Moser (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 1 sec
3. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank at 9 secs
4. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 13 secs
5. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha at 13 secs