UAE Team Emirates sprinter flies back to Britain on Saturday night

Ben Swift had to leave the Abu Dhabi Tour on Saturday as his partner gave birth to their first child

Swift finished the queen stage of the race to Jebel Hafeet yesterday but was taken to the airport to fly back to his home that evening to attend the birth of his first child, a son.

A spokesperson for UAE Team Emirates said: “After the stage he received a call that said ‘I’m going to the hospital because my waters have broken’. The team, of course, said go home this is something much more important than a bike race.

“He flew back home and we are happy for such kind of events.”

He added that Swift is not expected to miss Paris-Nice, which starts on Sunday March 5, or Milan-San Remo on March 18.

Swift himself posted on Instagram: “What a day. A mad rush home from Abu Dhabi to meet my little man. Happy to report mother and baby are doing great.”

Swift placed second on the race last year, and it represents his best opportunity to win a Monument.