Britain’s Ben Swift admitted coming third in the Milan-San Remo on a course suited to his racing fulfilled a long-held ambition for the event.
The 26-year-old suffered an injury-hit season last year and was looking to hit the ground running in the first Spring Classic of the season in northern Italy.
And after keeping pace with the leading bunch until the closing stages of the 294km course, the Team Sky rider was just beaten in a sprint finish by Norway’s Alexander Kristoff and Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara.
Mark Cavendish, a member of Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics, had launched the first bid for the line as he went in search of a repeat of his 2009 win but was outpaced to finish in fifth.
But after putting in one of the best performances of his career to date, Swift was left toasting a job well done.
“It's the race that I've looked at in the past and dreamed about over the years,” said Swift.
“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 today was a really great feeling."
© Sportsbeat 2014