Second place and a lot of work to get there. That was the sentiment for Sky’s Ben Swift. His team-mates had done a lot of work and it was as close as the British-registered squad has come to a win this year.

Swift almost got the win but ‘Gerro’ has got the edge at the moment on a January day…




“Simon is definitely going really well,” said the 28-year-old at the finish of stage four of the Tour Down Under in Victor Harbor. “He did a brilliant sprint and he went from pretty far out.

“The boys did an unbelievable job but I was a bit unsure how I was feeling.

“I’ve been a bit up and down in this race. But I felt good on the first climb so we made the plan where, if we needed to, we’d take it on.

“BMC set a really hard tempo there [on the final climb] and then Pete [Kennaugh] took over. He just put me on my limit a little bit so we made the call just to ease off a little bit.

“It was quite a select group over the top and then we just took control and unfortunately I didn’t get the win but I’m sprinting against a man who is in great form at the minute.

“I’m pretty happy with my form and it’s a big thanks to the boys for how they rode.

“Every day we’ve just ridden really well together.

“I think terrain like that suits me a lot more than big bunch sprints these days.

“I’m going to keep pushing. It’s only January…

“We’re pretty happy with where we’re at for the minute and it’s a long year ahead.

“Gerro went really early but he just maintained his sprint the whole way and I was there and NIzzolo came up on the side of me and I think he was a bit in the same position: he still had the sting of that climb in his legs and he didn’t really go anywhere.

“I got out and tried to make a move on Gerro but he was the strongest there today.”