Sheffield?s Ben Swift will make his professional debut with the Barloworld team at the GP di Camaiore in Italy on Thursday.
The 19 year-old Academy rider has been named in the six-rider team for the hilly Tuscany race and will also ride the Giro del Lazio one-day race near Rome on Saturday August 11.
Swift has been racing with the Under 23 Great Britain team this year but impressed Barloworld team manager Claudio Corti with his consistent results in the first half of the amateur road season in Italy and so was given a place as a stagiaire.
Swift will ride with Geraint Thomas in the two races, who will travel back to Italy after becoming the youngest rider to finish the Tour de France. According to a press release by Team Barloworld, Swift will also ride the Tre Valli Varesine (Aug 21), the Coppa Agostoni (Aug 22) and the Trofeo Melinda (Aug 25).
Swift is the fourth rider of the highly successful Academy team to make their professional debut in the last 12 months. Last year Mark Cavendish rode as a stagiaire for T-Mobile and has since gone on to win seven races and ride the Tour de France for the ProTour team. Geraint Thomas joined Barloworld for the 2007 season and became the youngest rider to finish the Tour de France, while Ian Stannard ?also a new stagiaire with T-Mobile, made a successful professional debut in the Tour of Denmark.