Swift concentrates on road team

25 April 2012 / 17:00

Ben Swift has revised his Olympic dream and is set to turn his back on the track to focus on supporting Mark Cavendish in the road race on the opening day of the London 2012 Games.

Swift was part of a six-strong Great Britain team pursuit squad which travelled to the Track Cycling World Championships earlier this month, only to miss out on selection in Melbourne.

The 24-year-old from Rotherham responded to the disappointment by competing in three non-Olympic events, winning gold in the scratch race and silver medals in the points race and the Madison, the latter with Geraint Thomas.

After this week consulting British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton, men's endurance coach Dan Hunt and road coach Rod Ellingworth, Swift has opted against continuing to be in the mix for the four-man four-kilometre team pursuit and instead will challenge for the five-man team for the July 28 250km road race, which Cavendish will begin as favourite.

"I think I'm going to step away from the track now and try to pursue a place in the road team," Swift said. "I had a talk with my coaches and made the call. That's going to be my goal now to get into that road team."

Swift watched on as Britain won the team pursuit world title in a world record of three minutes 53.295 seconds in Australia and by opting out of the track team it means he has given up his own bid for Olympic gold in a selfless pursuit of success for Cavendish.

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 - one for Cavendish and two for the riders who will be participating in the Olympic time-trial.

"It makes it a little bit harder to get selected," added Swift, who is next month set to ride with Cavendish for Team Sky in the Giro d'Italia.

Swift had suggested previously London would be his last major track competition, but he has not ruled out riding in future World Championships in the velodrome.

"Never say never, but at the minute it's the road," he said.