Tour de France: Tour belief grows for high-flying Swift

Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift chats with Ryan Middlemiss from Otley Cycle Club and Ruby Gilmore from The Hunslet Club during a visit to Leeds. (Picture: Tony Johnson)

Team Sky cyclist Ben Swift chats with Ryan Middlemiss from Otley Cycle Club and Ruby Gilmore from The Hunslet Club during a visit to Leeds. (Picture: Tony Johnson)

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In-form Ben Swift rates his chances of making Team Sky’s Tour de France roster for this summer’s race as 50-50.

The 26-year-old sprinter from Rotherham has a win and a host of podium finishes to his name from a blistering start to the 2014 campaign.

It has thrust his name into the spotlight and given Team Sky chief Dave Brailsford food for thought ahead of naming his nine-man roster for the Tour de France in the coming weeks.

Given that the race starts in Leeds on July 5, and the second stage into Sheffield the following day finishes just 10 miles from his home, Swift has an added incentive to make the second Tour appearance of his career.

But after only returning from shoulder surgery two months ago, he will accept a place on the team any way he can - whether that be as a sprinter or as a domestique.

“I’d say my chances are about 50-50,” said Swift, who followed up a third-place in the Milan-San Remo monuments classic with a win in the Tour of the Basque Country last week.

“It would be amazing to be there.

“I’ve done the Tour de France once before (2011) and it’s a surreal experience but there’s perhaps other races on the calendar that would be better suited to me. It’s up to the directors.

“It would be purely a domestique race and I don’t mind that at all, but it’s definitely got an added side to it with it starting in my home county this year.”

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