Olympic injury fears eased as Swift suffers dislocated shoulder

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Yorkshire’s Olympic hopeful Ben Swift has revealed his shoulder injury is not as bad as first feared following a consultation with a surgeon yesterday.

The 24-year-old from Rotherham was forced to withdraw from the year’s first Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, which begins today, after a training crash on Thursday.

But the versatile Team Sky rider Tweeted yesterday: “Well good news is that nothing is broken, just a dislocation which went back in. Have another MRI scan next week once swelling has gone down.”

The development is a boost for Swift, but missing the three-week Tour of Italy could hamper his chances of taking a place in the Olympic road race team.

Swift has turned his focus from the track, where he was in contention for the four-man, four-kilometre team pursuit, to the road and is hoping to be one of four support riders when Mark Cavendish bids for Olympic gold on July 28.

The British Academy graduate won three medals in non-Olympic races at the World Track Championships in Melbourne last month.

But with limited chances of breaking into the team pursuit squad in time for London 2012, Swift had opted to try to make the road race squad. He made his Olympic debut in that race four years ago.

Swift is a proven winner in his own right on the road with victories in the Tour Down Under, Tour of California and Tour de Romandie in 2011, and had hoped to use the Giro to demonstrate his ability to act as a secondary option to Cavendish come the Olympic road race in Surrey.

Swift, who now lives on the Isle of Man, faces a difficult challenge to make the road squad, with three of the five places already determined. Cavendish will take one place and two will go to the riders participating in the Olympic time-trial; likely to be Bradley Wiggins plus one of Chris Froome, Alex Dowsett or the newly eligible David Millar.

Cavendish, meanwhile, is targeting multiple successes at the Giro d’Italia as he returns to Denmark this week for his first Grand Tour with Team Sky.

The 26-year-old won last September’s World Road Race Championships in Copenhagen.

Without a general classification contender, the task for Team Sky is simple, according to Cavendish, who in July will seek a successful defence of his Tour de France points classification title and Olympic Games gold.

“The team want to win stages, whether it is the team time-trial, the individual time-trial, sprints, mountains. We want to win stages here,” he said.