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“Last winter I started my break in mid-August, needing an operation. Your morale is bad, your weight goes up - so you’re already starting in a bad place. But now I can have a normal break and relax, without having to recover fro...

Photo: Sirotti

TEAM SKY

NEWS
08.11.2014 @ 11:09 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After two seasons where injury prevented 27-year-old Ben Swift from achieving his potential, 2014 was the season where he silenced all of his doubters with a stunning win in the Basque Country and a great podium in his debut at Milan-Sanremo.

 

“This year I had a couple of goals,” Swift told TeamSky.com. “One was just to be consistent and have a good solid year, and then to almost get the belief back for myself, but also from the team and the riders.”

 

“Last year, and even to an extent the season before, I could feel myself going on a downward cycle after injury and illness. This year I’ve been able to string together such a solid season. I’ve been ill just once so there haven’t been many setbacks. I’ve had quite a few crashes but I’ve felt like I’ve rebounded from them pretty well, which has been really encouraging.”

 

“I’ve been fairly consistent. I’ve been lacking those wins, but I’ve also noticed the lack of depth I’ve got dating back to last year. Last season I barely had 30 race days and I think I felt that a little bit when it came to the very end of the year this time.”

 

Swift now her renewed motivation to chase his goals for 2015 and he says he is looking forward to getting back on the bike for winter training to ensure he has a good base come the Spring.

 

“What I’m looking forward to now is starting my winter break in a good position,” he continued. “Last winter I started my break in mid-August, needing an operation. Your morale is bad, your weight goes up – so you’re already starting in a bad place. But now I can have a normal break and relax, without having to recover from any additional issues. Hopefully I can just build on it and turn some of those second places into firsts. I had seven second places this year. If I could have turned half of them into wins it would have been an amazing year!”

 

“I really like winter training. I always come out of it really well and tend to go well early season. So I just want to make the most of that. I showed this year that Milan-San Remo is quite a good race for me, and I only got a pretty late call-up once we knew the course had changed. Now we know from early on that it’s going to be the same as this year. I definitely want to make that a big focal point for the start of the year – and doing that works well with the races around it, like Pais Vasco. I do enjoy the big bunch sprints but I much prefer the hillier sprints when you’ve got 40 men left.”

 

Swift also put up a good fight in the World Championships where he eventually finished in 12th. Despite his more than respectable performance, Swift was not fully happy with himself.

 

“It was definitely special. I did a good ride but it could always have been better. I could have been sprinting for a podium if we’d got that group back.”

 

“I had that worlds target that I wanted to go there. I went out and had a look at the circuit. It’s pretty much the first time I’ve really targeted something that late in the season. It’s definitely something I’d like to target again in the future and maybe I’d look to do some things differently in the build-up.”

 

But Swift will be better than ever in 2015, where no doubt Milan-Sanremo and another shot at winning his first ever Monument awaits.

 

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