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"If my next race would have been in Europe we could have gone and perhaps tried to manage it. But spending 12 hours on a flight to head out there, not knowing whether I'd be able to survive day one doesn't seem like the right w...

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13.05.2016 @ 23:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ben Swift is looking forward to making a return to racing as he continues to recuperate following a crash at the Tour de Romandie.

 

The Yorkshireman was caught up in a mass pile-up on the race's final day in Geneva and, while he escaped without any fractures, a bruised knee is necessitating a brief spell off the bike.

 

That unfortunately led to a last-minute decision not to compete at the upcoming Tour of California, with the team and Swift instead opting to rest up to aid his recovery.

 

Vasil Kiryienka and Gianni Moscon are now heading Stateside ahead of the race's start on Sunday, with Swift easing back into training as he looks ahead to objectives later in the season.

 

Talking TeamSky.com through the crash itself, Swift explained: "It was a pretty chaotic finish at Romandie. There were no big-name sprinters at the race with lead-out trains, so everyone was fending for themselves a little bit.

 

"Something happened on one of the corners, just as I was moving up the outside with a bit of speed. Everyone went down in front of me and I had nowhere to go - I just went straight over the top. We were looking at my Garmin afterwards and the speed went from 70km/h to nothing very quickly. As a result it was a pretty heavy fall, but I had no cuts. Instead I just rolled a lot and managed to bang everything as I went. Normally when you crash you slide, and okay you'll take some skin off, but you'll often get away with it. But because I was rolling you've not really got any protection - and concrete is quite hard!

 

"My knee took a big whack and I struggled to walk for a few days afterwards. Luckily there is nothing broken or internal damage, but it's just been a struggle to get the bruising and the swelling to go down. Every time I've been riding it's irritated it, so we decided to take more time, back off and unfortunately that means missing California."

 

 

 

A former stage winner and race leader in the Golden State, Swift is naturally disappointed not to be lining up in California, but is content to look at the bigger picture.

 

"It's a real shame as it's the second year in a row that I've missed California through injury," he added. "If my next race would have been in Europe we could have gone and perhaps tried to manage it. But spending 12 hours on a flight to head out there, not knowing whether I'd be able to survive day one doesn't seem like the right way forward.

 

"I've done a lot of racing this year so I'm not short of race days, but obviously it comes at a pretty crucial time of year. It's not ideal to be taking time off, but there's still time for objectives during the rest of the season.

 

"I've had experience with a similar sort of injury where I crashed in 2013. I hurt my right knee on that occasion and I was told I was quite lucky not to break my knee. This time it was in the same place but on my left knee. Last time I just rushed it too much and never really let it settle. So this time around it's better to take our time and get everything sorted out - instead of turning a 10-day issue into a month-long one. When it's just not quite right you have to go off experience. It's frustrating to be waiting, but it's the best way forward."

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