Swift bids to make Tour after top ride

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Rotherham’s Ben Swift finished third in the prestigious Milan-San Remo race on Sunday - one of the best finishes of his career.

Team Sky’s Swift is hoping to make the squad for this summer’s Tour de France, which has its Grand Depart in Yorkshire and second stage finish in Sheffield.

And he’ll be boosted by a podium finish in one of the sport’s toughest Classic races.

“It’s the race that I’ve looked at in the past and dreamed about over the years,” he said.

“It’s the one big race where I could see myself getting a result because normally that sort of terrain is where I’d have pretty good legs. So to go there and do that was a really great feeling.”

Swift was able to keep his powder dry in soaking wet conditions for much of the day before appearing right at the front of the race heading into a breathless finale.

The 294km race was won by Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) who beat Fabian Cancellara (Trek) into second with Swift third in a bunch sprint.

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was fifth.

“I never felt bad in the race,” Swift added.

“I was just cold. As it went on I just felt better and better. Then once we took the rain capes off and the racing really started I felt a lot better.”