Ben Swift pipped in sprint finish in Catalunya

Rotherham's Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift . Picture by Simon Hulme
Rotherham's Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift . Picture by Simon Hulme
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Team Sky’s Ben Swift was edged into second place by Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni in a sprint finish at the end of the opening stage of the Volta a Catalunya.

Rotherham’s Swift, who finished second at the weekend in the Milan-San Remo, was in a good position heading into the closing few metres in Calella but his Cofidis rival came home just ahead.

Sky’s two-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, returning to competitive action for the first time since he sealed the Herald Sun Tour title in Australia in early February, was kept out of trouble thanks to team-mates Vasil Kiryienka and Nicolas Roche leading the team to the front over the final climb of the Alt de Collsacreu.

Roche attacked with five kilometres to go and held off the peloton for three kilometres before being caught again ahead of the sprint finish.