Ben Swift leads Settimana Coppi e Bartali after triumphing on both of first two stages
Last Updated: 28/03/14 2:32pm
Britain’s Ben Swift leads the Settimana Coppi e Bartali in Italy after sprinting to victory on stage 1a and then forming part of Team Sky's winning quartet in the stage 1b team time trial.
The opening day of the four-day race was split into two, with a rolling 99.5km road stage in the morning being followed by a largely flat 13.3km time trial in the afternoon.
Team Sky rider Swift prevailed in a reduced-bunch sprint on stage 1a after the peloton had earlier been broken apart on the second of the day's two climbs.
It was the 26-year-old's first win since the Tour de Pologne in July 2012 and came four days after his impressive third place at the Milan-San Remo one-day Classic.
Swift was one of two Britons in the top 10, with team-mate Peter Kennaugh finishing eighth.
He told teamsky.com afterwards: "I'm really happy to finally get that win under my belt again. The team were just unbelievable and it all happened so smoothly. They [his team-mates] gave me a great lead-out. It was that good that Pete ran eighth himself. It was a great team effort today."
After a short break, Swift returned to action in the stage 1b team time trial, in which each team was split into two groups of three or four riders.
Swift and Kennaugh were joined in Team Sky's "A" line-up by Vasil Kiryienka and Dario Cataldo, and the quartet won comfortably in a time of 15min 30sec, with RusVelo finishing 15 seconds down in second and Cannondale 18 seconds adrift in third.
With time bonuses from stage 1a taken into account, Swift now leads the general classification by six seconds from second-placed Kennaugh and third-placed Cataldo.
Stage 1a result
1 Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky
2 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
3 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale
4 Thomas Sprengers (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
5 Alberto Cecchin (Ita) Marchiol Emisfero
6 Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Area Zero
7 Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
8 Peter Kennaugh (GB) Team Sky
9 Fabio Taborre (Ita) Neri Sottoli
10 Matteo Busato (Ita) MG Kvis-Trevigiani
Stage 1b result
1 Team Sky, 15:30
2 RusVelo, +15sec
3 Cannondale, +18