Britain?s Ben Swift is to ride as stagiere for the Barloworld squad for the remainder of the year, and is expected to sign a full contract for 2008.

The British Cycling Olympic Academy rider had been in discussions with several professional teams but decided on the British registered, Italian based squad due to Geraint Thomas?s success there.

Barloworld team boss Claudio Corti confirmed to Cycling Weekly before stage 12 of the Tour that Swift was joining the team as they look to build stronger links with British Cycling.

The UCI Professional Continental team has been one of the most successful at this year?s Tour after gaining a wildcard invitation, and may soon make the leap in to the ProTour.

Corti is to meet with bosses from the South African brand management company soon after the Tour, but is currently being cautious over next year?s plans.

Swift has been one of the Academy?s most consistent performers this year, gaining results on the track and road, and becomes the third rider to turn professional from the Olympic Academy. He is likely to join former Academy team mate Thomas at Barloworld from August 1st.

19-year-old Swift is currently in Bulgaria with the rest of the British team at the European road championships.

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