The success of British cycling, including Lizzie Armitstead’s recent World Championship win, inspires Sky’s Ben Swift to push for more.
Swift, who placed 22nd in the Worlds in Richmond, Virginia, is already pushing ahead towards 2016 with the Milan-San Remo and Doha World Championships in his sights.
“The way that British cycling is going is inspiring, the way that Lizzie Armitstead won the championships was incredible, the atmosphere in the hotel after that was amazing,” Swift told Cycling Weekly on Friday ahead of the Abu Dhabi Tour stage two.
“People like Pete Kennaugh, Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas, my close friends I’ve grown up with. Luke Rowe who was eighth in Roubaix… We all feed off of each other.
“When we were growing up, cycling wasn’t a big sport in Britain, and now it is and we are coming up and we are the figure heads, we thrive off of each other. You want to be better and better. You always want to try to improve and step up.”
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Swift stood in Team Sky’s paddock at the Formula One Yas Marina Circuit. He put his hand up to race the Abu Dhabi Tour because he wanted to continue racing after the World Championships and understand the heat in the Middle East ahead next year’s championships in Doha.
“The season definitely did not go as I expected. I was hoping for more,” added Swift.
“My big target was Milan-San Remo, but I just lacked a little something there. I was going really well the following week after San Remo. It was real up and down.”
He placed 13th in San Remo in March, but in the Tour of Yorkshire, his home race, and had to abandon.
“I was a leader of the race on my home roads. It was a great experience to be racing on home roads, even in the middle of nowhere, people shouting your name, but then to be in an ambulance, knowing it was a bad injury, it was quite disheartening.”
Armitstead’s victory and wins like Thomas’s in the E3 Harelbeke earlier in the season help 27-year-old Swift look ahead for successes of his own.
“You have to remain positive, you have to look to the future. I’m one for planning and trying to make the most out of situations,” he said.
“I’m already thinking about next year in a certain way, getting these racing kilometres is good, then a break and build up for next year.”