Cycling - Tour de France

Swift to assist Wiggins in Tour

Team Sky will give Ben Swift his Tour de France debut next month, assisting compatriot and overall hope for Britain Bradley Wiggins.

 
Swift to assist Wiggins  - Cycling - Tour de FranceReuters
 

The Rotherham rider is one of three Brits in the team's nine-man line-up, with Welshman Geraint Thomas the other named.

”Competing in the Tour de France is what every young rider dreams of and I’m really excited about the challenge ahead," said Swift.

"The team is riding well and we can’t wait to get going against the world’s best riders."

Team principal Dave Brailsford said: "I am delighted that Ben Swift will be making his Tour debut. He will absolutely thrive on this opportunity to test himself on the biggest stage of all."

Wiggins won the 'mini Tour' Criterium du Dauphine this month with the same line-up behind him, minus Swift; Swede Thomas Lofkvist, who was Team Sky's top finisher in the Tour last year with 17th place, has been left out of the squad.

Wiggins said: “The team is in great shape, full of confidence and riding well. We all want to put on a good show for our fans as their support for the team throughout this season has been incredible.

"It’s going to be a great three weeks of racing.”

Wiggins sprung a shock by finishing fourth in the Tour in 2009 but came 24th last year, his first with the team.

Sprinter Swift has previously raced in the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana with Katusha and has won five races this year.

It is Thomas's third Tour appearance. Young Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen made his Tour debut last year, securing two podium finishes, while Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran, Xabier Zondo of Spain and Simon Gerrans of Australia are also a force in the mountains.

German Christian Knees and Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha complete the line-up.

Team:

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)

Juan Antonio Flecha (Spain)

Simon Gerrans (Australia)

Christian Knees (Germany)

Ben Swift (Great Britain)

Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)

Rigoberto Urán (Colombia)

Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)

Xabier Zandio (Spain)

 

 - Reuters
     
     
     
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