Ben Swift will return to action this week from injury and admits it’ll preserve the sanity of his loved ones as much as his own.
The Rotherham sprint specialist, who rides for Team Sky, has been away from competitive racing since a fall on his final training ride in February in Majorca.
At the time Swift was in excellent form and preparing to take on the spring ‘Classics’ races, which makes up the early part of the cycling calendar.
However, the fall on a descent during the closing stages of the Trofeo Alcudia did more than knock him unconscious, it also left the 25-year-old with a haematoma on his knee that has taken almost three-months to heal.
He’ll take his place in Sky’s squad for the Tour of Norway, which begins on Wednesday in Fredrikstad.
“It has been unbelievably frustrating,” Swift told The Star from his training base in Nice, France.
“I was in really good shape and really looking forward to the season. My plan was for the spring Classics, which I’ve missed. The only silver lining is that there’s still a lot of the season left.
“The injury prevented me from riding, and when I did try it would swell back up.
“I was probably my own worst enemy at times and tried to come back a bit too soon - who knows?”
So instead of hours on his bike on the roads of Europe, Swift spent quality time with his parents Mark and Sandy and girlfriend Lizi back in Rotherham- a support network that he says has been invaluable.
“I can’t have been the best of company because I have been so down,” he said.
“They have been great and it has been good to see them. But I can’t wait to get back racing again. I’ve still got to put a lot of work in to get back to full fitness.
“When I had a shoulder operation at the end of last season I was still able to sit on a stationary bike to get my work in, but with this injury I’ve not been able to do anything.
“I’m really looking forward to this week.”
* At the Giro d’Italia, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali is leading by 29 seconds from Australian Cadel Evans, who is a teammate of Sheffield’s Adam Blythe. Bradley Wiggins is fourth, one minute 16 second behind. Today is a rest day.
* Swift is set to lead the Financial Times London Cycle Sportive on June 30, which will take on part of the London 2012 Olympic Games road race course.
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