Ben Swift optimistic after ‘scary crash’ that left him in intensive care

The Brit suffered serious injuries in a training crash not long after re-joining Team Ineos

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ben Swift is optimistic about his recovery after a crash that left him in intensive care not long after he re-joined Team Ineos.

The Brit was just days into his Tenerife training block in mid-February when he hit a rock while descending Mount Teide and went down hard.

Swift was in intensive care and spent a week in hospital in Tenerife, after suffering a bleed on his spleen.

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The 31-year-old had only just made his return to British WorldTour outfit Team Ineos, but was forced to spend five weeks off the bike.

He said: “You can only look forwards. I had a lot of thinking time – I spent a week in hospital and it was obviously quite a serious crash.

“I missed out on some of my important races for the year, but I refocused and recalculated.”

Swift made his racing return at the Tour de Romandie in late April, despite doubts over his health after he discovered he had also broken his hand in the crash.

But the Rotherham-born pro finished the race and found his form returning in Switzerland.

He said: “I was pleasantly surprised in Romandie. I was going better even than I was hoping to be.

“Since the crash I’d had a few niggles with my knees, and we found out I’d broken my hand, so I was a little unsure going in to Romandie.

“I was missing that little bit to be competitive, but with a race in the legs now and having done some focused work I’m feeling good.”

He added: “If Romandie had been tougher it would have been tough on my head. I’d have been questioning myself a little bit.

“But it gave me a big motivation boost.”

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Next on the calendar Swift is the Hammer event in Stavanger later this month, before heading to the Tour of Norway.

He is also looking ahead to the British National Championships and the Worlds in Yorkshire later this year.

“I’m looking forward to Norway first and foremost," Swift said.

"I’ve had some nice experiences in Norway and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do.

“It will be six days of good, hard racing. Hopefully then it’ll be on to the Tour de Suisse all being well, and I’ll be able to do a good job for the team there.”

He added: "As bad as it is having an injury like I just had, and such a scary crash, it makes you so thankful to be in a team like this.

"Within a matter of minutes I was being looked after and then the support I’ve had to get me back to this point, where I can go to Norway with ambition, is so good.

"Generally in myself I’m a lot happier, more content, and I think that shows in the racing and in my training.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.