National champion Swift joins Tour de France winners in British squad for world championships

Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) celebrates his victory in the national road race championships in Northumberland in June (Picture: SWPix.com)
Connor Swift (Madison Genesis) celebrates his victory in the national road race championships in Northumberland in June (Picture: SWPix.com)
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Yorkshire’s national road race champion Connor Swift has been included in the long list of riders to compete for the world title in Innsbruck next month.

Swift, 22, from Doncaster joins an elite list that includes Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome, who between them have won the last four Tours de France titles.

Tour de France winner Britain's Geraint Thomas, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey speeds down the Champs Elysees. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

Tour de France winner Britain's Geraint Thomas, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey speeds down the Champs Elysees. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

Swift’s inclusion comes after his landmark win at the National Road Race Championships in Northumberland in June, when he shocked cycling by launching a solo breakaway and defending it all the way to the finish line.

Also on the long list is Swift’s cousin, Ben, from Rotherham, who was 12th in the road race when the world championships were held in Ponferrada, Spain, four years ago.

Britain’s road race squad also includes twins Simon and Adam Yates with 16 names to be whittled down to eight for the race which takes place on Sunday, September 30.

Sisters Alice and Hannah Barnes are on the list of the women’s road race and time-trial, while Dani Rowe – who won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in April – is listed for the road race.

I’m particularly thrilled that Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Simon Yates have made themselves available for selection this year, having made our country so proud in the three biggest races of the calendar.

Stephen Park

The routes for both road races promise to be tough, with the men’s including more than 5,000 metres of climbing in a 265km course around Innsbruck. The women’s race uses much of the same route but is 162.5km long.

The difficulty of the routes has seen some riders elect not to compete, with Leeds’ Tom Pidcock – winner of the junior time-trial in Bergen last year – opting to focus on the cyclo-cross season and Great Ayton’s Harry Tanfield, the British time-trial silver medallist, not putting himself forward for selection.

Tanfield’s younger brother Charlie, 21, will be in Innsbruck representing Great Britain in the Under-23s individual time-trial.

“This year’s road world championship course is one for the climbers, and I’m pleased to see we have so many talented British riders selected for the long list whose strengths match the nature of the course,” said British Cycling performance director Stephen Park.

“I’m particularly thrilled that Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Simon Yates have made themselves available for selection this year, having made our country so proud in the three biggest races of the calendar.”

The world championships will be held in Innsbruck from September 23-30, with organisers then handing over to Yorkshire for the 2019 edition.