Team Sky's Ben Swift aiming to make his second appearance on the Milan-San Remo podium
The Yorkshireman holds Team Sky’s record for its best placing in the race, having finished third in 2014. The 28-year-old is part of a strong Sky line-up that includes Paris-Nice winner Geraint Thomas, Italian sprinter Elia Viviani and classics specialists Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard.
Having just ridden Paris-Nice in France last week, where he placed second on stage one, Swift is hoping to carry his good form through to Milan-San Remo.
“I’m full gas for it,” said Swift. “We’re going there with a really strong team and we’ll have a lot of options in the race.”
Swift once again underlined why Milan-San Remo suits him more than some of the other race son the calendar: “It’s got all the characteristics that suit me really. A couple of hard climbs at the end mean it generally ends in a reduced-bunch sprint. I know they took the Le Manie climb out last year, but it’s still a hard race.”
Although Swift is hoping for decent weather after two years of cold conditions, he says that his riding in Yorkshire has stood him in good stead for what he might face in Italy.
“I’ve had some of my best results in conditions like that. Maybe it’s because I’m from the north of England where we don’t get too many nice days! It’s also to do with mentality. You’re only going to get cold for a certain amount of time and then you can have a nice long shower.”
After Milan-San Remo, Swift will be aiming to ride in the Tour de Yorkshire (April 29 to May 1), parts of which run very close to his home. Last year, Swift was forced to abandon the race on stage one after crashing.
“I’m taking a break right before it so hopefully I’ll be able to maintain my form. The race goes really close to where I grew up this year and it’s a really great event. It was so good to see how successful it was last year and I’ll be there to give it my best shot.”