British rider Ben Swift will make his professional debut as a stagiaire for Professional Continental squad Team Barloworld at the GP di Camaiore. The event is the first of a five race schedule the Britain Cycling Team Olympic Academy rider will complete with the team.
"It's something you aim for, to be a professional and now its in my grasp, its all getting quite exciting," Swift told britishcycling.org.uk. "It would be amazing to get a ride in the Tour at some stage like G [Geraint Thomas] did. Just watching G on the tele and knowing we raced with him last year and train with him, we know it is within our reach if we do like him and put in the hard work."
19 year-old Swift should feel right at home with the British-registered Barloworld squad, with fellow Briton Thomas competing alongside the rider in his first professional race. Thomas completed an impressive feat last month, after starting the Tour de France and only expected to contest the first week, the Welshman made it all the way to Paris on his Grand Tour debut. "I do though feel much more relaxed having G in the team though as he knows how it all works," admitted Swift. "It's not as if I will be going into it not knowing anyone so that will be helpful.
"Its also exciting going to a team like Barloworld who are getting better and better," he added. "They showed at the Tour and in some races before that they can get decent results."
In addition to Thomas, Swift will be joined by Kanstantsin Siutsou, Alex Efimkin, Giampaolo Cheula and Paolo Longo Borghini at his first event. August will prove to be a busy month for Swift, with all five of his events with Barloworld scattered throughout the month. In addition to the GP di Camaiore, Swift will contest Giro del Lazio, Tre Valli Varesine, Coppa Agostoni and Trofeo Melinda later in August.