CYCLING: Ben looks ahead to downhill fun

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BEN Swift knows all about the mountains of Switzerland after a brutal six and a half hours in the saddle yesterday during the Tour de Suisse.

The 24-year-old from Rotherham, who has hopes of making the Great Britain road race team at next month’s Olympic Games in London, is a sprint specialist, so although he enjoys the Swiss terrain he is expected to work for team leader Thomas Lovkvist rather than going for stage victory himself on the high hills.

After the 218.3 kilometres from Verbania to Verbier yesterday he posted on Twitter: “Long day today, good thing about big mountains is big descents follow. looking forward to next few days.”

It’s that kind of philosophical attitude that has seen Swift return from a shoulder injury the day before last month’s Giro d’Italia into the kind of form that could see him leading out gold medal favourite and current Sports Personality of the Year Mark Cavendish down The Mall on the opening day of the Games.

Yesterday Swift finished eight minutes 25 seconds behind stage winner Rui Costa and on Saturday, over the 7.3km circuit round Lugano he came in one minute 11 seconds down on time-trial specialist Peter Sagan.

Costa will take an eight second advantage into today’s 195km stage three from Martigny to Aarberg.