BEN Swift is fighting for his Olympic Games life and it’s a battle he seems to be winning as he prepares for the start of the Tour of Switzerland this weekend.
After picking up three medals at the World Track Cycling Championships in Melbourne in March, 24-year-old Swift, from Rotherham, opted to try and force his way onto the Team GB squad for the road race in London.
He was set to be part of the Sky team for the Giro d’Italia last month but a training ride fall the day before the race began damaged his shoulder and prevented him from riding alongside Olympic Games favourite - and teammate - Mark Cavendish.
However, Swift was quick to get back on his bike and after a low key return at the Tour of Norway two second place finishes at last week’s Tour of Luxembourg confirmed his return to fitness and form.
He told The Star: “I’m happy with the way it went (in Luxembourg).
“I felt pretty good and, although I’ve got a lot more to give, I’m really happy with where I’m at.
“The shoulder niggles a bit but it kind of is what it is. If I need an operation on it I’ll sort it at the end of the season.”
For now Swift has his mind only on the races that will determine whether he makes the Olympic team.
First it’s the nine-stage Tour of Switzerland and then a chance to be British National road race champion over the lanes of North Yorkshire on June 24.
“I’ve done Switzerland before last year. It’s a race I really enjoy - it seems to suit me, so I’m looking forward to that,” he said.
“And then we’ve got the Nationals. I’d love to win that, but you just have to see how the race develops. If I’m in with a chance then I’d definitely go for it.”
The current British champion is Bradley Wiggins - who is one of the favourites for next month’s Tour de France and retained his lead in the prestigious Criterium Dauphine yesterday - which shows the kind of company Swift would be in if he did win the honour of wearing the red, white and blue hoops on his jersey.
He said: “It’s looking better for the Olympics than it did. My form is still on the up so I can only keep doing what I’m doing.”