Ben Swift won his second race of the season at the weekend when he sprinted to victory from a seven-man group at the end of the 160km GP Coppa Romita in Italy.
Swift had gone with the decisive move on the final climb of the day after team mate Jonny Bellis?s attack had been brought back with around eight kilometres remaining.
The victory was earned by the whole of the British team after they took control of the race with around 45km to go. Olympic Academy coach Rod Ellingworth had the team ride flat out in the run up to the race’s major climb, and from that point on the Brits were always in control.
For Swift it was another sign that he is ready to step up to the pro ranks. He had been expected to sign for Barloworld at the end of last year following a successful trial with the Italian based team, but the deal fell through at the last minute.
Swift has also put himself in contention for the British team traveling to China for the Olympic Games road race, and he now has to be considered as a favourite for the national championships on June 29th.
?Ben?s the team captain on a day to day basis,? Rod Ellingworth explained. ?He?s the most experienced and he does a good job. I?ve been working with him, getting him to buy into things, and then he takes the rest of the group with him.?
?I get the young guys to watch him and follow him in the races; the way he moves up and sits on the wheels. He?s always in the right position, and if you tell him he needs to be in a certain place at a certain time in a race, he?s always there.?
Swift and his Academy team mates flew in to Frankfurt this morning for the Thüringhen Rundfarht stage race that starts tomorrow. ?Swifty will be looking at the GC and Bellis will be looking for stages,? Ellingworth confirmed.
Following the six-day race, the Academy riders will return to the UK for the Grand Prix of Wales and the national championships where they will ride as the 100% ME team. With over 20 top ten places this season alone, they could spring a surprise on the rest of the field.