Swift out of Giro

03 May 2012 / 19:35

Great Britain's Ben Swift has suffered a major setback to his Olympic hopes after sustaining a fractured right shoulder in a crash during a training ride.

The injury, which has forced the Team Sky rider to pull out of the upcoming Giro d'Italia, could leave the 24-year-old facing an uphill task to prove his fitness ahead of this summer's Games.

A Team Sky statement read: "Team Sky's Ben Swift has been forced to withdraw from the Giro d'Italia after sustaining a fractured right shoulder whilst on a training ride. Ben will now concentrate on making a full recovery."

The statement added: "Jeremy Hunt will be added to the Team Sky squad for what is the 95th edition of the Giro d'Italia. Jeremy has previously competed in all three of cycling's Grand Tours and comes into the squad following a consistent Classics campaign."

Swift has turned his focus from the track, where he was in contention for the four-man, four-kilometre team pursuit, to the road and is in contention to be one of four support riders when Mark Cavendish bids for Olympic road race gold on July 28.

The British Academy graduate 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 had hoped to use the Giro to demonstrate his ability to act as a secondary option to Cavendish come the Olympic road race in Surrey.

But the Rotherham rider will instead undergo further checks on the injury on Friday when he will hope for good news.

He said on Twitter: "Well that is my Giro over, had a very heavy crash out on the bike today, very disappointed not to be able to start. Further checks tomorrow."

Swift, who now lives on the Isle of Man, had faced 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.