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Swift – who was third in the 2014 edition of Milan-San Remo – will be the British WorldTour team’s main option if the race splits apart on the Cipressa or Poggio climbs, with Italian sprinter Elia Viviani providing firepower for a bunch sprint.
Former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski could also be a factor in the race’s finale, particularly as he showed some good form during Tirreno-Adriatico, where he placed eighth overall on Tuesday.
Thomas and Swift then travel south to Spain for the Volta a Catalunya, starting on Monday March 21. They will join Tour de France champion Chris Froome among a strong climbing-focussed team that also includes Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, Ian Boswell and Nicolas Roche. It’s a line-up that can’t be too far off Sky’s shortlist for the Tour de France.
Team Sky won the Volta a Catalunya last year with Richie Porte, but the Australian has now moved to BMC Racing for 2016.
Team Sky for Milan-San Remo (Saturday, March 19)
Peter Kennaugh, Michal Kwiatkowski, Salvatore Puccio, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas, Elia Viviani
Team Sky for Volta a Catalunya (March 21-27)
Ian Boswell, Chris Froome, Vasil Kiryienka, Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, Nicolas Roche, Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas