Swift avoids crashes to take stage

Wed, 19 Jan 07:42:00 2011

Team Sky's Ben Swift took the honours on a crash-heavy second stage of the Tour Down Under from Tailem Bend to Mannum.

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Swift capitalised on a chaotic final four kilometres, which saw a number of riders sustain cuts and bruises in a succession of crashes, to claim victory.

At least a dozen riders, including HTC-Colombia's sprint king Mark Cavendish, were left nursing injuries, with Bernard Sulzberger (Fly V Australia) thought to have suffered the worst with a suspected broken collarbone.

"On the impact, his helmet broke and his glasses cut the arch of his eyebrow and his eyelid," HTC-Highroad sports director Allan Peiper said of Cavendish's crash..

"It's impressive. He could have sustained serious injuries."

It was Swift's second win for Team Sky, following his stage victory at last year's Tour de Picardie.

Australia's Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) retains the overall lead of the race after finishing second behind Swift.

"I'm very happy, I have the jersey through consistency ... unfortunately guys crashed, that also influenced things," McEwen said.

"I'm sure otherwise, (Andre) Greipel and Matt Goss would have been up there in contention for the win, but that's part of bike racing.

"You have to actually get to the finish and bad luck is a part of racing.

"I was fortunate not to get caught up in it and it's delivered me the jersey, at least for a day, we'll see where we go from here.

"It was purely the gravel that made it dangerous and really treacherous."

Results:

1. Ben Swift (Britain / Team Sky) 3h 27mins 44secs

2. Robbie McEwen (Australia / RadioShack) same time

3. Graeme Brown (Australia / Rabobank)

4. Romain Feillu (France / Vacansoleil)

5. Juergen Roelandts (Belgium / Omega Pharma - Lotto)

6. Francesco Chicchi (Italy / Quick-Step)

7. Michael Matthews (Australia / Rabobank)

8. Denis Galimzyanov (Russia / Katusha)

9. Francisco Ventoso (Spain / Movistar)

10. Allan Davis (Australia / Astana)

Overall standings:

1. Robbie McEwen (Australia / RadioShack) 6h 44mins 42secs

2. Matthew Goss (Australia / HTC - Highroad) same time

3. Ben Swift (Britain / Team Sky)

4. Andre Greipel (Germany / Omega Pharma - Lotto) +4"

5. Mitch Docker (Australia / Australia)

6. Graeme Brown (Australia / Rabobank) +6"

7. David Tanner (Australia / Saxo Bank)

8. Mathieu Perget (France / AG2R) +7"

9. Miguel Minguez (Spain / Euskaltel)

10. Simon Zahner (Switzerland / BMC Racing)

Eurosport

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