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Ben Swift: Nationals win will definitely help with Ineos negotiations

Picture by Will Palmer/SWpix.com - 17/10/2021 - Cycling - Men's National Road Championships - Rapha Lincoln GP - Lincoln, England - INEOS Grenadiers's Ben Swift wins the Men's National Road Championships in Lincoln.
Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers) after his National Championships victory (Image credit: SW Pix)

Ben Swift believes that the successful defence of his British national road race title will help his current contract negotiations with Ineos Grenadiers. The 33-year-old is currently out of contract for next season but looks likely to stay as he and the British WorldTour team hammer out a contract.

On Sunday, Swift defended the road race title he won in 2019 by beating Fred Wright to the line in Lincoln. It was the first win Swift had taken since his title two years ago. 

"It was a tough race but I’m really happy to keep the jersey," he said at the finish.

"At the Nationals, you have to race from the front, and you have to be quite aggressive. I went away quite early with Ben Turner on the third lap and it was just about putting yourself in the front and then as we caught got we went away again in that group of six and that was a really nice group to be in.

"It was working well and there were some strong guys. Then we got into the group of 10, there were a few attacks. Right place, right time, and when I looked around we had a gap."

Ineos Grenadiers have made a raft of changes over the last few months as they look to revamp their entire squad. The team have hired a number of young riders as they look to build for the future, with Magnus Sheffield, Ben Tulett, and Luke Plapp all brought on board.

At the same time, a number of established and experienced riders, such as Gianni Moscon and Rohan Dennis, have left. Swift rode for the team, formerly known as Sky, between 2010 and 2016 before spending two disappointing years at UAE Team Emirates.

He moved back to the British team in 2019 on a one-year deal before signing a two-year contract extension for the following year. Last season, despite not taking a win, he played an important role in Tao Geoghegan Hart’s surprise Giro d’Italia win, finishing 18th overall.

"This is definitely going to help,"Swift said when discussing his contract negotiations.

"I’d definitely like to stay and we’re in discussions. We’re pretty close but nothing has been signed yet. Hopefully soon."

While it looks almost certain that Swift will remain on the team for next year with the team almost done, there has been no news on Geraint Thomas’ future. The former Tour de France winner had been linked with a move to Qhubeka-NextHash but that team look uncertain to continue, and there's now an expectancy that Thomas will sign a contract extension, albeit on reduced terms.

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Daniel Benson

 Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.