Yorkshireman Ben Swift (Team Sky) takes uphill sprint on stage five of Tour of the Basque country to continue his rich vein of form

Ben Swift (Team Sky) continued his rich vein of form with victory on the hilly fifth stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Friday.

The 26 year-old Yorkshireman made a select group of 22 riders at the end of a typically lumpy stage in Spain before pipping Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) to the line in Xemein.

Such a result against strong opposition continues Swift’s sensational start to the season, coming hot on the heels of a stage win at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali and third at Milan-San Remo.

Swift’s win also took him to the top of the points classification leaderboard, while Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) finished 16th on the stage to keep 15th overall.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished ninth on the stage to keep hold of the race lead with one stage, a 25.9km time trial, remaining on Saturday.

Ben Swift wins stage five of the 2014 Tour of the Basque Country

Ben Swift’s second trip to the top of the podium in 2014

Bob Jungels and Michael Albasini lead an escape on stage five of the 2014 Tour of the Basque Country

Bob Jungels and Michael Albasini lead an escape on stage five of the 2014 Tour of the Basque Country

Philippe Gilbert on the attack, Tour of the Basque Country 2014 stage five

Philippe Gilbert on the attack, Tour of the Basque Country 2014 stage five

Peter Weening attacks on stage five of the 2014 Tour of the Basque Country

Peter Weening attacks on stage five of the 2014 Tour of the Basque Country

Ben Swift wins stage fiveof the 2014 Tour of the Basque Country

Ben Swift wins stage five of the 2014 Tour of the Basque Country

Results
Tour of the Basque Country 2014, stage five: Eibar to Xemein, 160.2km
1. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky in 3-56-56
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movisar
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
4. Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
5. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6. Cyril Gautier (Fra) Europcar
7. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin
8. Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
9. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
10. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC all at s.t.
Others
16. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at s.t.
39. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 4-39
120. Josh Edmondson (GBr) at 18-09

Overall standings after stage five
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 20-30-31
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movisar at 12 secs
3. Damiano Cungeo (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 36 secs
4. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
5. Jean Christophe Peraud (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale all at s.t.
Others
15. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 1-37