Tour beckons for star Swift

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Rotherham cyclist Ben Swift says ‘it is a dream come true’ to be selected for this year’s Tour de France.

The former Dinnington School pupil from Anston, aged 23, is one of the rising stars of the sport.

He will take his place alongside fellow British riders Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas in a nine-strong Team Sky line up.

Swift said: “Competing in the Tour de France is what every young rider dreams of and I’m really excited about the challenge ahead. The team is riding well and we can’t wait to get going against the world’s best riders.”

The race starts on July 2 in Passage du Gois La Barre-de-Monts on the north-west Atlantic coast and ends 21 stages later with the traditional ride down the Champs-Élysées in Paris on July 24.

Swift, who won a stage at the Tour of California last month, will be expected to compete in the race’s early sprint stages.

However, with Wiggins on top form and hopeful of a place on the podium Swift will be a key ‘domestique’ during the tough mountain stages through the Alps and the Pyrenees - including four summit finishes.

Team Sky’s Dave Brailsford said: “I’m delighted that Ben will be making his Tour debut. He will thrive on this opportunity to test himself on the biggest stage of all.”