Swift hopes for home advantage at Tour de Yorkshire

29 April 2015 / 17:40

Ben Swift is hoping local knowledge pays dividends ahead of this weekend's Tour de Yorkshire.

Swift watched last year's Tour de France weave its way through his home county from the sidelines but is hoping to shine in the inaugural three-stage race, which features Olympic champions Sir Bradley Wiggins, Ed Clancy and Steven Burke and 11-time Grand Tours stage winner Marcel Kittel.

And Swift's finishing speed and climbing prowess make him one to watch, as he looks to underline his early season form in March's Coppi e Bartali.

“I won the stage in Coppi e Bartali then had to defend the leader’s jersey, and I’m not really used to going that deep," said Swift.

“I should have rested when I got home but I carried on doing big efforts in training, plus I had to move house. The upshot was that I was exhausted when I got to the Tour of the Basque Country.

"I ended up not even finishing the second stage, just because I would only have been doing myself more damage by staying there. Fortunately, since then I’ve been able to rest and build up again for Yorkshire, which has been on my programme since the winter.

“This already feels like a massive race, no doubt because of the Tour last year. It took the Tour of Britain quite a few years to build up momentum, but this already feels big."

Swift rules out predictions that Friday's first stage finish in Scarborough will be a bunch sprint finish, though does expect the speed stars will dominate the second stage between Selby and Leeds.

However, it's Sunday's finale between Wakefield and Leeds that will decide the first-ever winner.

"After the first climb up Holmfirth, the hills come thick and fast. They may not all be that hard but the succession of them will make it a really tough day, plus the weather could always be a factor on the hills, because they’re exposed. However, I hope to be right up there."

© Sportsbeat 2015