Tour of Britain stage seven photo gallery by Andy Jones>>

Ben Swift (Katusha) won his first race as a professional and given Britain its first win in the 2009 Tour of Britain in Yeovil on Friday.

Italy’s Filippo Pozzato guided his young team mate through the snaking final 500 metres and then Swift accelerated to the line. The two were so far ahead that Pozzato held on for second and joined in the victory celebrations.

Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-HTC) finished third a few lengths back and extended his overall race lead to 23 seconds before Saturday’s final stage in London.

The 159km stage from Devon to Somerset was perhaps the best of the whole race, with important attacks going away several times.

British national champion Kristian House (Rapha-Condor) showed of his jersey in a long break with Stian Remme (Joker-Bianchi). They opened a five minute lead but were pulled back just before the nasty climb of Chinnock Hollow five kilometres from the finish.

Several other late attacks were made before the finish but Pozzato was riding for Swift and used all his strength to help his team mate. Pozzato accelerated off the front to make sure he and Swift were first into the last corner. They brushed the barriers on the two 90 degrees left hand turns but a crash helped them get a gap on the rest of the bunch and both celebrated as they crossed the line.

When they came to a stop Pozzato slapped Swift on the back and was as happy as if he’d won himself.

“It’s great he’s won his first race. I’m really happy for him and was happy to help him win. He’s a great person and is going to be a great rider. He’s got balls,” Pozzato told Cycling Weekly.

Swift could hardly believe he’d won his first race as a professional and that he’d done it in his home stage race. “It’s great to win my first race. Pozzato was looking after me all day and knew he was looking after me at the finish. I’ve done a lot of races with him and always tried to help him but I think he’s helped me more than I’ve helped him. For a neo-pro to get that help it’s pretty special.”

“There was a bit of a crash in the first corner, then we opened up a gap. We went a bit too quick into the second one and we both skidded down barriers. Then I came around Pozzato with 150 to go.”

“The team’s rode for me a lot this season quite a few times but I’d never quite finished it off. To pull it off in Britain is special.”

The Tour of Britain ends on Saturday with a 92km circuit race around the centre of London. Boasson Hagen looks to have the race sewn up but the final sprint along the Thames Embankment is a different matter.

Results

Tour of Britain 2009: Stage seven, Hatherleigh-Yeovil, 159.7km

1. Ben Swift (GB) Katusha in 3-52-19


2. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha

3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Columbia-HTC

4. Mauro Finetto (Ita) CSF Navigare

5. Alan Marangoni (Ita) CSF Navigare

6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Barloworld

7. Kai Reus (Ned) Rabobank

8. Chris Sutton (Aus) Garmin-Slipstream

9. Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport-Vlaanderen

10. Huub Duyn (Ned) Garmin-Slipstream all same time.

Overall classification after stage seven

1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Columbia-HTC in 26-09-32

2. Kai Reus (Ned) Rabobank at 23sec

3. Martin Reimer (Ger) Cervelo at 25sec

4. Chris Sutton (Aus) Garmin-Slipstream at 28sec

5. Russell Downing (GB) CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta at 37sec

6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Barloworld at 40sec

7. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Agritubel at 43sec

8. Simon Clarke (Aus) ISD-Neri at 44sec

9. Reinier Honig (Ned) Vacansoleil at 46sec

10. Kristian House (GB) Rapha-Condor at 46sec

Kristian House and Stian Remme, Tour of Britain 2009, stage seven

British national champ Kristian House (right) and Stian Remme on the escape

Columbia control the race, Tour of Britain 2009, stage seven

Columbia-HTC take control

Ben Swift, Tour of Britain 2009, stage seven

Swift and team-mate Pozzato celebrate Swft’s win

Tour of Britain 2009: Related links



News



Brits set the pace during stage six



Wilkinson battered after stage four



Wiggins quits ToB to focus on TT World Champs



Downing in the mix after magical adjustment



Lapthorne goes on the attack and into the spotlight



Tour of Britain goes mad for Wiggins



Downing aiming high in Tour of Britain



Can a British rider win the Tour of Britain?



British pros head home to fight for Worlds places



Halfords hit the Tour of Britain



Rapha-Condor names Tour of Britain squad



Cavendish to miss Tour of Britain



Katusha and Rabobank announce Tour of Britain teams



Tour of Britain and Tour Series on ITV4



Tour of Britain 2009 route unveiled

Stage reports

Stage six: Boasson Hagen makes it four

Stage five: Boasson Hagen takes control

Stage four: Boasson Hagen makes it two

Stage three: Hagen does it again

Stage two: Dutchman Reus wins second stage at Tour of Britain

Stage one: Sutton wins opening stage of ToB

Photo galleries



Stage six: Photo gallery by Andy Jones



Stage two: Photo gallery by Andy Jones



Stage one: Photo gallery by Andy Jones

Guide and info



Tour of Britain 2009: Start list

External links



Tour of Britain official website