Ben Swift wins opening stage of Settimana Coppi e Bartali

Team Sky's Ben Swift won the opening stage of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali on Thursday morning.

Ben Swift Credit: Press Association

Fresh from placing third in Milan-San Remo on Sunday, the 26-year-old from Rotherham claimed victory in a sprint finish at the end of the 99.5-kilometre opening stage.

It was Swift's first victory since the Tour of Poland in July 2012 and gave the Briton the overall lead ahead of Thursday afternoon's team time-trial. The race finishes on Sunday.

Swift wrote on Twitter: "Well the @TeamSky boys were incredible today. Totally controlled the final half of the race. Really happy to finish it off for them."