I love the Giro - Swift

03 May 2012 / 08:53

Ben Swift has the opportunity to boost his claims for a place in the Olympic road race squad by providing able support for Mark Cavendish at the Giro d'Italia this month.

The 24-year-old from Rotherham has turned his focus from the track, where he was in contention for the four-man, four-kilometre team pursuit, to the road and he will bid to be one of four support riders when Cavendish bids for Olympic road race gold on July 28.

The Tour of Italy is a race where Swift burst into global prominence, finishing third on the second stage of the 2009 event.

Swift said: "I love the Giro. It was my first Grand Tour and I got a result on the first stage.

"I'm coming in with a bit of a different approach after the track, so hopefully I should get better and better as the race goes on."

The race begins in Herning, Denmark on Saturday as Cavendish returns to the nation where last September he became world champion.

Swift, who now lives on the Isle of Man, faces a difficult challenge to make the road squad, with three of the five places already determined.

Cavendish will take one place and two will go to the riders participating in the Olympic time-trial - likely to be Bradley Wiggins plus one of Chris Froome, Alex Dowsett or the newly eligible David Millar.

British Academy graduate Swift is a proven winner in his own right - with victories in the Tour Down Under, Tour of California and Tour de Romandie in 2011 - and can over the next three weeks demonstrate his ability to act as a secondary option to Cavendish come the Olympic road race in Surrey.

In Italy, he will provide a supporting role and aim to take any opportunity which presents itself.

Swift added: "First and foremost I'm there to do a job. That's the main goal, but we'll just have to see what the team tactics are each morning.

"My opportunities are going to come towards the back end of the race when I'm starting to get my road legs back.

"If I get given that opportunity I'll try to take it."