Ben Swift targeting track success at Rio 2016

Team Sky sprinter Ben Swift sees his best hope of a medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games being in the velodrome, with the omnium on his radar

With the hilly road race in Rio de Janeiro not suiting his style, Team Sky sprinter Ben Swift has his eye on Olympic gold in the velodrome.

The 27-year-old is keen to be Team GB’s choice for the men’s omnium in 2016, but admits he will have to fit it around his demanding road schedule.

>>> Mark Cavendish sees Rio Olympic dream fade away

Swift, the 2012 scratch race world champion, is set to meet Heiko Salzwedel, British Cycling’s men’s endurance coach, to discuss his chances of riding in Rio.

“I need to look into it with the British Cycling management and coaches because of how dominant we have been in the team pursuit in the past,” he told the British Cycling website.

“I don’t really want to go down the route of committing to a full-time track programme and it’s how riding the omnium would affect that.”

Swift enjoyed a successful 2014 on the road, following up his third place at Milan-San Remo with seconds at the RideLondon-Surrey Classic and the National Road Race Championships.

But Olympic glory is high on his list of priorities, having missed out on selection in 2012, meaning track cycling will remain part of his schedule in the coming seasons.

“My full focus for the moment is back on the road, but you’re always planning the next few weeks and months ahead at the same time,” he continued.

“The first step was to get the experience of the new omnium format, to get some points on the board and the next step is to do another omnium with a lot more fitness, to be able to race it at 100% and go from there.

“Obviously the later into the season it is, the fitter I am going to be. I would like to treat an event like that like a mini target in itself.

“Beyond that, the world championships in London will be massive and it would nice to be a part of that. It’s very likely you’re going to be going to the Olympics if you’re at that event.”

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.