Swift heads back to the British team after two years at UAE Team Emirates

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Ben Swift will return to Team Sky for 2019 after two years with UAE Team Emirates.

Team Sky confirmed on Monday that they had re-signed the 30-year-old, who spent seven seasons with them from their inception in 2010.

In that time, Swift scored his career best results with two podium finishes at Milan-San Remo in 2014 and 2016, as well as a stage at the Tour de Romandie and at the Tour of the Basque Country.

Swift left Sky for 2017 in search of leadership opportunities, telling Cycling Weekly last week that he has no regrets about trying something new and that joining UAE Team Emirates was “something I needed to do.”

“It’s a great feeling to be re-joining Team Sky,” Swift said in the team’s announcement.

“Obviously I know the ins and outs of the team. I feel really comfortable here and it’s a place I’ve grown as a rider.

“There will be no teething troubles and I’ll be straight back in. I’m hoping that it will feel like I’ve never been away.

During his two years at UAE, Swift struggled for results. His best finish in team colours came at the Critérium du Dauphiné after he unexpectedly finished second to Peter Kennaugh on the finish to Alpe d’Huez in 2017. Riding for Great Britain later that year, Swift was then able to take fifth place in the World Championships road race in Bergen, Norway.

Now however, Swift says he is ready to return to more of a team role, where he’ll be able to contribute to the development of younger riders as well as pursuing his own goals.

“I’ve still got ambitions and aims for my own career, but I’m also really looking forward to going in and working with the young guys a little bit too,” Swift said.

“There’s an incredibly talented crop of young riders coming through and I’ve got a lot of experience now that I can lend them.

“On the bike, I feel I’ve also got the ability to put a bit back into the sport as a useful all-rounder for the team. I want to be someone who can do a job and take their opportunity when it comes around.”

On the signing, Team Sky performance manager Rod Ellingworth said: : “Ben has got a crucial role to play next season. He’s not only a fine rider in his own right, but he’s also a superb role-model for the younger riders on the team to learn from, as we look to bring through the next generation at Team Sky.

“In performance terms, he sits right in the middle of the team and he’s such a great team player. His attitude and professionalism sits perfectly in our team. He’s easy to work with and we can use him as a good example – he sets high standards and that’s what we’re about.

“He’s at that age now where he can start to pass some of his experience to the younger guys in the team. We’ve invested a lot now in some young guys and we need a few of the core older riders to pass their knowledge on and show them the Team Sky way of racing. We know Ben will do that.

“It’s great to welcome Swifty back to the team going into our 10th year.”