Cycling: Ben Swift relishing Steel City finish

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SPORTSMEN usually try to stay in the moment; ‘one day at a time’ is a typical response, writes Richard Fidler.

But Rotherham cyclist Ben Swift is allowing himself to gaze nearly 18 months into the future for the second stage of the Tour de France, which will finish in Sheffield on Sunday, July 6 2014.

The route from York to Sheffield is one that the 25-year-old Team Sky rider knows well and he admits he can’t wait - if selected to the Tour squad - to race into South Yorkshire.

“I’m really happy with the route,” he told The Star from his training base in Majorca.

“I couldn’t have asked for it to be better. It’s very exciting that the Tour is coming to Yorkshire and I’m looking forward to it.”

The 200 kilometre route was partly designed in consultation with Rotherham cyclist Dean Downing. Downing and Swift are competing in Majorca in the four-race Challenge Majorca event.

Yesterday was the 153km Trofeo Deia, close to the island’s south-west coast.

The race was won by Swift’s teammate Sergio Henao on the uphill finish. Swift finished fifth as he held of a group of riders while Downing was four minutes 15 seconds back.

Today’s Trofeo Alcudia is 170km from Alcudia to Avenida Albufera.

Meanwhile on the 143km third stage of the Tour of Qatar from Al Wakra to Mesaieed, which was won by Britain’s Mark Cavendish, Sheffield’s Adam Blythe maintained his third place overall.

Blythe came home with the peloton in 44th place for his BMC Racing team. Dean Downing’s brother, Russell, was 16th as he continues his first tour for NetApp Endura.

* Follow The Star sports writer Richard Fidler on Twitter @richardfidler. For breaking news keep checking The Star website or visit us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sheffieldstar or Twitter at www.twitter.com/sheffieldstar