Jasbir Authi

Ben Swift on Milan-San Remo: ‘Second is the worst place’

British sprinter Ben Swift reflects on his second podium appearance in Milan-San Remo, after narrowly missing out

Ben Swift On Milan-San Remo: ‘Second Is The Worst Place’

Arnaud Demare wins, Ben Swift Second in the 2016 Milan-San Remo

In the Milan-San Remo1 chaos today, a shot of black emerged under the Italian Sun in the form Sky s Ben Swift2. His last-minute charge was enough to overtake many along Via Roma, but not Frenchman Arnaud D mare (FDJ)3. After third in 2014, he placed second. In the sun-soaked Ligurian seaside town, Swift followed up his team s work and avoided the crash of Fernando Gaviria (Etixx QuickStep)4 to record his highest ever place in a monument.

I was third in 2014, 13th last year and second year, Swift said. Obviously to get second is one of the worst places to get because you re so close to victory. But I m kind of happy. I m second to Arnaud D mare who s a brilliant sprinter.

I think this shows that it s a race for me, with the results I ve had in this race so hopefully I ve got a few more years to keep trying.

Ben Swift On Milan-San Remo: ‘Second Is The Worst Place’

Ben Swift second to Arnaud Demare in the 2016 Milan-San Remo

The 28-year-old from England has raced Milan-San Remo three times already.

>>> Arnaud D mare wins Milan-San Remo, Ben Swift second5

I have to say Milan-San Remo, it s where I ve had my best results and best suited to my characteristics, continued Swift.

It s a good race. Obviously, it s always disappointing not to get the win but I think in the end after 300 kilometres we ve got to be happy with how the race went. There s not much more I could have done there. Sky covered every angle but lacked a bit of extra punch when a crash took out Geraint Thomas and Pete Kennaugh. Kennaugh returned, but Thomas took more time to re-start his race.

Ben Swift On Milan-San Remo: ‘Second Is The Worst Place’

Ian Stannard escapes in the 2016 Milan-San Remo

Ian Stannard followed an attack with Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) and the two rode alone from the Cipressa to the Poggio. Former World Champion Michal Kwiatkowski attacked near the top of the Poggio and escaped solo until an express train led by Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) passed him in the final two kilometres.

We knew that we didn t have the favourites for the race so we wanted to make it an aggressive race. Geraint Thomas crashed out so that cost us a lot of firepower and unfortunately Pete Kennaugh crashed as well, so it wasn t as aggressive as we would have liked it to have been but we were aggressive where we needed to be, Swift added.

>>> Five talking points from Milan-San Remo6

We had a super-strong team. Michal Kwiatkowski did a brilliant job there in the final, he put a lot of pressure on the guys to chase. I just tried to stay as relaxed as possible coming into that finish. Yeah, it is what it is. In 2014, Swift placed third behind winner Alexander Kristoff and Fabian Cancellara

I think it s a harder feeling really than in 2014.

At the moment, I kind of feel not flat, but not overjoyed, because second place is perhaps one of the worst places you can finish. But I m happy to be back on the podium, Swift added.

Everything was perfect. I stayed as hidden as possible, I didn t do anything. I think the only time you d have seen me was in the last 200 metres, which was what I wanted. I played it really calm in the finish.

Last year I was really nervous and I wasted a lot of energy and I paid for that.


  1. ^ Milan-San Remo (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Ben Swift (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ not Frenchman Arnaud D mare (FDJ) (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ crash of Fernando Gaviria (Etixx QuickStep) (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ >>> Arnaud D mare wins Milan-San Remo, Ben Swift second (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ >>> Five talking points from Milan-San Remo (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

Fuming parents launch Lumen Christi petition over Christmas holiday date change

Parents enraged by a school chain s1 decision to switch its Christmas Discount Holidays © holiday dates2 have launched a petition to protest at the move. The document calls for the decision which they claimed was made behind closed doors to be reversed. The Mail told earlier this month how six schools run by the Lumen Christi Catholic Multi-Academy had scheduled this year s Christmas break from December 21 until January 9, 2017.

Most other schools will stick to Birmingham City Council s3 recommended dates of December 16 to January 3. Parents of Lumen Christi chain pupil said they faced an utter nightmare organising childcare as some siblings were in schools run by other organisations. Now the petition against the date change has gathered almost 200 signatures.

Organiser Rachel Grant, who has two children at St Brigid s Catholic Primary in Northfield4 , said: This decision was taken behind closed doors.

How can they take such a decision without consulting the parents?

I will have to go back to work a week before the children will return to school.

I can t take time off work.

How are you going to take time off if you are self-employed and what if you don t have other family to help?

We demand our voice be heard and the decision be overturned. The other schools in the chain are St Joseph s Catholic Primary, St Paul s Catholic Primary and St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School & Sixth Form, all in Kings Norton; and St Columba s Catholic Primary and St James Catholic Primary, both in Rednal. A Lumen Christi spokeswoman said principals at all six schools led the decision-making and the dates were agreed by its board of directors after considering a range of factors .

Our schools work together to provide the highest quality Catholic education for their communities, she added.

The principals felt that, in addition to other concerns, such an early finish on December 16 set by Birmingham City Council does not allow them to focus on Advent and truly celebrate with pupils, students, families and the wider community, such a special event on the liturgical calendar.

We are aware a number of local schools have already made a change to their Christmas Discount Holidays © holiday dates and others are planning to do so.

While we acknowledge that this change may be disappointing to some parents, we also hope that the later return might allow some families to take advantage of reduced-cost holidays or simply recover from Christmas ready to return refreshed and eager to learn at the start of term.

The petition can be found on www.change.org5


  1. ^ school chain s (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  2. ^ switch its Christmas Discount Holidays © holiday dates (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Birmingham City Council s (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  4. ^ St Brigid s Catholic Primary in Northfield (www.birminghammail.co.uk)
  5. ^ www.change.org (www.change.org)