Circuit test for Ben Swift and Adam Blythe

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BEN Swift and Adam Blythe will be going head-to-head as the pair of South Yorkshire riders look to continue their strong form at the end of the season.

Swift, aged 24, from Rotherham, is part of seven-strong Team Sky line up taking part in the four-day Circuit Franco-Belge, which will see the peloton riding through the Wallonie and Picardie regions of Belgium and France.

With a course suited to the sprinters Swift will be hopeful of a good display after winning the points jersey at the Tour of Poland in July and then narrowly missing out on his first Grand Tour stage win at the Vuelta a Espana earlier this month.

At the World Road Race Championship last weekend in Holland Swift finished 60th, just over two minutes behind eventual winner Philippe Gilbert of Belgium.

Meanwhile Blythe, from Sheffield, aged 22, who won the race in 2010 and also finished seventh last year, has been in great form this month.

He finished second at Omloop van het Houtland-Lichtervelde in Holland, fourth at GP d’Isbergues in France and fifth on Stage 2 of the World Ports Classic in Holland and Belgium.

He told the BMC Racing website that there’s a secret to success in the race: “I’m looking forward to it this year.

“You try to stay consistently good. On the last day, you just try to hang in there on the one climb and try to get up there in the sprint again.”

Today’s first stage sees the riders take on the 165.8 kilometres from La Louviere to Menin – 165.8km.