Swift loses Games ground

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ROTHERHAM’S Ben Swift finished fourth in the British Championships in Ampleforth as the race for Olympic selection hotted up.

In the 182km race, Ian Stannard emulated 2010 winner Geraint Thomas and 2011 champion Bradley Wiggins - both absent to concentrate on the Olympics and Tour de France, respectively - with victory.

Five Team Sky riders began the race and Stannard made the early break alongside team-mate Alex Dowsett and three others.

The pace was relentless and only Russell Hampton (Raleigh-GAC) could stick with them.

Stannard attacked on the penultimate lap to claim a third successive victory for Team Sky, with Dowsett second and Hampton third.

“It’s nice to win nationals,” Stannard said.”

Stannard, Swift and Jeremy Hunt are all vying for a place in the five-man Olympic team which is expected to be confirmed this week.

It appears the five Britons riding the Tour, which begins in Liege on Saturday, are in prime position.

Stannard, though, showed he could be a fine reserve behind Mark Cavendish, Wiggins, David Millar, Steve Cummings and Chris Froome.