Swift determined to push into Olympic pursuit team

Team Sky sprinter heads to Giro d'Italia in May

After a sterling performance on the final day of the omnium at the Track World Cup in London, Ben Swift is determined to push his way into the Great Britain team pursuit team. The Team Sky rider was left out of the squad on the eve of the London meet at the Olympic velodrome and penned in for the omnium, an event he has raced in the past.

The multi-day event proved to mixed affair for Swift. A niggling hamstring hampered his efforts on day one but he fought back to claim a win in the scratch race and finish 6th overall.

“The points race should have been one of my strongest disciplines. I really underperformed there, and quite badly. And the flying lap was also a disappointment because I was going quicker in training” he told Cyclingnews.

“Once I knew I was out of contention for the overall win I just wanted to win one race and the scratch race was the best opportunity to do that. The crowd was unbelievable.”

Although ending on that high Swift is still eyeing a place on the team pursuit, an event he has been on the fringes for in the past.

“The team pursuit is still the number one goal. The omnium is tailor made for Ed Clancy and he’s so consistent every time he rides it. He’s unbelievable. I’ll aim for the team pursuit at the Worlds and the Olympics.”

However, if the pursuit is not an option and the team offer an omnium slot Swift will still take it, aware that it provides a strong shot of a medal come London 2012.

“I’ll do it because it’s another shot. I can definitely improve because my strongest event ended up being one of my worst here. I always tend to get stronger as the event goes on and I think it’s a case of getting my track legs back on.”

Swift will change trajectory now that his Track World Cup is over, pulling in his Team Sky kit in a number of races in Belgium over the coming fortnight. But this biggest road test this spring will come at the Giro d’Italia. Like teammate Geraint Thomas, he is passing over the Tour and focussing on the Olympics.

“I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into the Giro. It was my first grand Tour in 2009 and I’ve heard there’s not so many mountains this year, which will be nice.”


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