Swift chasing Olympic spot

23 June 2012 / 13:24

For Ben Swift the British Championships in his home county of Yorkshire represent his final opportunity to claim an Olympic spot - and he is determined to seize his chance.

The 24-year-old from Rotherham is one of eight riders vying for a place in the five-man team which will be built around Mark Cavendish's bid for success on the opening day of the Games on July 28.

"It's going to be tough to get in that team," Swift told Press Association Sport. "The other seven are some of the best guys in the world at what they do."

He added: "All eight of us on that list want to be there. I'll be pushing on hard trying to get that place."

The quest for a place in the team, which is expected to be confirmed next week, is complicated by the fact that of the five riders, two must compete in the time-trial on August 1 - Bradley Wiggins' stated goal after the Tour de France - meaning just two places are up for grabs for a rider such as Swift.

In Swift's favour is his ability to lead out Cavendish if the 250-kilometre race finishes in a sprint on The Mall, or even the possibility of him being a back-up option, should anything go wrong for the Manxman on the day.

"To be a part of that team which could potentially win the Olympic Games road race would be brilliant," added Swift, who has been praised by British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford for being a consummate team man.

"The selectors will select a team on who would be best to perform roles, not on a back up place."

Swift has had a challenging season, which began on the track before he switched to the road after missing out on selection in Olympic events at April's Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne.

Swift returned from Melbourne with a world champion's rainbow jersey in the scratch race, plus silvers in the Madison and points race. All three are non-Olympic events.