Swift sidelined for Classics season by knee injury

Ben Swift (Sky) is still recovering from a crash sustained on February 6 during the Trofeo Platja de Muro, part of the Mallorca Challenge, and wrote today on his blog that his Classics campaign for 2013 will not come to fruition.

"I have had a bit of a rough time of it of late, the knee injury that I picked up from my crash in the Mallorca Challenge is still hanging around," wrote Swift. "I think we are on the home straight now but it has been quite a challenging time. After the spill I just wanted to get back on my bike and build on my form and fitness, but it was a vicious circle. I would feel OK and ride, then the next day I could feel the pain come back.

"The knee is feeling better now but it is looking like my Classics season is over before it begun, frustrating but I need to be positive and I am lucky that it is still only March and I will be able to come back stronger and even more hungry to achieve a good mid and late season."

The 25-year-old Briton opened his season on February 3 with a third place finish behind Kenny Dehaes (Lotto Belisol) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) at the Challenge Mallorca's Trofeo Palma. Swift followed that up with a 10th place finish the next day in the Trofeo Migjorn and then notched a fifth place result at the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana.

Swift crashed heavily in the final day at the Mallorca Challenge, the 169.8km Trofeo Platja de Muro, and has yet to compete since.

"I don’t remember anything about the crash itself and my first recollections are of a paramedic and doctor standing over me," said Swift. "I’m really happy with the form I showed in Mallorca before the crash. I’ve trained really hard over the winter and it felt really good being back in the peloton."

Swift, now in his fourth season with Team Sky, had a 2012 season highlighted by a world championship on the track in the scratch race, plus silver medals in both the points race and madison (partnered with Sky teammate Geraint Thomas). Back on the road, Swift took two stage wins and the points classification at the Tour of Poland.

Swift then completed the Grand Tour trifecta with a Vuelta a Espana finish added to his Tour de France finish in 2011 and Giro d'Italia in 2009. The Sky rider came close to victory twice at the Vuelta, finishing third to John Degenkolb and Allan Davis on stage 2 and then runner-up to Daniele Bennati on stage 18.

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