ROTHERHAM’S Ben Swift narrowly missed out on his first Grand Tour win as he was edged out on the line in Valladolid today.
Alberto Contador retained the red jersey in the Vuelta a Espana after Radioshack’s Daniele Bennati won stage 18.
Contador, riding for Team Saxo Bank in his first grand tour since returning from a drug ban, remains a minute and 52 seconds clear of fellow Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) after the pair were awarded the same time in the peloton.
But at the front of the pack, it was Italian Bennati who won the sprint for the line ahead of Team Sky’s Swift.
A third Spaniard, early race leader Joaquin Rodriguez, lies third in the overall standings and also sports the green jersey as points leader.
Swift’s team-mate Chris Froome is fourth, almost 10 minutes off Contador’s lead.
* Read Swift’s reaction in The Star on Friday, September 7.