Swift flying high for rest of year after hard Tour

Leader of the pack: Ben Swift, left, in front on the Champs-Elysees
Leader of the pack: Ben Swift, left, in front on the Champs-Elysees
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Dinnington’s Ben Swift is targeting a successful rest of the season after completing his first Tour de France.

Swift, aged 23, had the aim of completing the 21-stage race and he accomplished that particular goal in some style as he led on the Champs-Elysees in Paris until being caught with just under 3km to go.

It was a bold move by Swift, but it showed the kind of strength he had left in his legs after 2,131 miles in the saddle.

He told The Star that far from the Tour sapping his energy he thinks it will stand him in good stead for the rest of the season. He said: “The amount of miles we’ve done and the mountains we’ve been over gives you amazing strength in depth. I won’t particularly have to go out and do much serious work, it will be a case of just keeping going.”

Swift’s next event is expected to be the Eneco Tour, which starts on August 8. The seven-stage race starts and finishes in the Netherlands but also has three stages in Belgium.

Rotherham’s Russell Downing had a difficult start in his defence of the Tour of Wallonia title he won last year. Downing suffered from a stomach bug in Saturday’s opening stage losing three minutes 50 seconds on the leaders. Feeling better Sunday and yesterday he trails overall by 4:58.