Anston’s Ben Swift was left to rue a slight error as he got blocked in and was unable to challenge for the opening stage of the Tour of Oman on Tuesday.
The Team Sky sprinter was stuck in a second group of riders for a time, and eventually crossed the line in 13th, ahead of team-mates Dario Cataldo and Chris Froome in 17th and 24th respectively.
After a race hindered by strong cross winds, Swift said: “I made a little bit of a mistake there so I had to come back.”
“I was with Andre Greipel (stage winner) at that point.”
“Once we got back I was following the Cannondale train.”
“That was relatively easy as a lot of people were concentrating on Quick-Step and Lotto.”
“I had a relatively smooth run-in, then in the last kilometre-and-a-half I got a bit blocked.”
“I should have used Dario a lot more and I will do tomorrow.”
“It’s about trying to reach that next level now.”
“It’s a bit frustrating as by the time I got out of the boxed position there was only 50m to go.”
Back at the hotel Team Sky’s sports director Nicolas Portal was happy to see Beijing Olympian Swift and his team-mates come through a tough day unscathed.
“Everybody finished together with the same time,” he confirmed.
“Swifty was disappointed because he was in a good position and couldn’t really start his sprint.”
“He was feeling really good so that should bode well for tomorrow.”
The six-stage Tour of Oman will finish on Sunday with a largely flat sprint stage, coming to a head with three laps of a 7.5km circuit at Matrah Corniche.