Swift pedals way towards pro contract

ROTHERHAM rider Ben Swift is setting his sights on earning himself a professional contract.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 17th September 2007, 10:04 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th September 2007, 9:48 am

The 19-year-old was the proud recipient of the king of the mountains jersey when the Tour of Britain finished in Glasgow.

Swift had held the jersey since the end of the fourth stage and even had the luxury of easing off on the final 97 mile leg from Dumfries to Glasgow once fellow Briton Paul Manning failed to win the first set of bonus points.

And the Barloworld apprentice is hoping his performances on the gruelling 550-mile race have done enough to put him in the shop window.

"It was a special feeling when I heard that Paul hadn't won and it meant I was the king of the mountains," Swift said.

"I'd done the maths on Friday night and knew if Paul didn't win the first intermediate then the polka dot jersey would be mine.

"This gives my career a huge boost and I will take so much confidence and belief in my own ability away from the race.

"I'm not sure what the future holds but I'm desperate to get a professional contract and I'd like to think this win has given me every chance of doing that.

"This is just the start for me and I'm going to give it everything to make sure I reach my full potential."

But Swift - who wore the king of the mountains jersey when the race started in Rotherham last Thursday - did not have time to party after his win.

He returned to his Italian training base to prepare for the final races of the season and has not ruled out an appearance at the World Champion-ships in Stuttgart at the end of the month.

"The Tour of Britain was not in my plans until recently and I've come here and done well so it would be great if I could do the same at the World Championships," Swift added.

"I've given myself a chance of being selected."

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