Next time Ben Swift gets cut up in a bunch sprint, he’ll have to remember not to raise his hand in a gesture of annoyance.
In expressing his displeasure at Gianni Meersman’s meanderings at the end of Monday’s second leg of the Challenge Mallorca, Swift mildly aggravated the shoulder injury that sidelined him for much of last season.
“I’ve only got a certain range of movements but, out of frustration and anger, I made a movement that I’m not really strong enough to do yet,” explained the Team Sky rider. “It was playing up a little bit after that.”
Swift and Meersman had come together in Monday’s Trofeo Ses Selines-Campos-Santany before respectively finishing second and third behind Lampre-Merida’s Sacha Modolo.
“Who can say what would have happened, but I think I would have been in with a shout,” said Swift.
Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) then added insult to injury by taking the win ahead of third placed Swift in today’s fourth and final leg of the Mallorca series – the Trofeo Muro-Port d’Alcudia.
But keen to write off the clash with Meersman as “just a racing incident,” Swift comes away from Mallorca pleased to have twice made the podium after a whole six months out of action.
“Today I hit out a little bit too early,” he explained. “Really I’m still just finding my feet again.
“I’ve been climbing well and sprinting well, so I’m pretty happy.
“The competition here is high, the racing is hard and I came into the race off the back of a lot of training.”
Keen to get some competition under his belt after last racing in the opening stage of the Eneco Tour, Swift was the only member of Team Sky to race all four component legs of the Challenge Mallorca.
It was in the fourth leg of last year’s Challenge that Swift crashed and re-injured what was already a troublesome left shoulder, eventually requiring surgery in the late summer.
His next race will be the Tour of Oman.