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Friday, January 28, 2011

Briton Ben Swift wins final stage in Tour Down Under

Britain's Ben Swift won the final stage of the Tour Down Under to finish third overall in the six-stage race.

Swift out-sprinted fellow Team Sky rider Greg Henderson for his second win of the event to finish behind winner Cameron Meyer and Matthew Goss.

"I was struggling really badly halfway through after the efforts of Saturday," he said. "I had to hang out there."

Cycling legend Lance Armstrong finished his last overseas race 65th while Mark Cavendish finished 129th and last.

Armstrong refused to speak to reporters afterwards about the latest doping allegations made against him this week.

The seven-time Tour de France champion took part in the race against the backdrop of a United States federal investigation triggered by former team-mate Floyd Landis's allegations that Armstrong and other prominent figures used performance-enhancing drugs.

The Texan, who never tested positive throughout his career, has denied any wrongdoing and tweeted on Friday that he looks forward to being cleared by the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Armstrong's team manager Johan Bruyneel said he could ride a last professional race at the Tour of California in May.

British sprint star Mark Cavendish finished last of the riders who completed the Tour Down Under.

The HTC-Highroad rider had a fall on the second stage and was left nursing some damaging cuts and bruises for the rest of the race.

"Hopefully I'll start winning later in the year and get some stuff for the team," said Cavendish, who has won 15 stages of the Tour de France.

"That [the Tour de France] is the biggest race of the year for the team and for the sponsors. I want to win everywhere but it's very important to win there."

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