Q& A

The UAE Emi­rates rider on his sprint­ing in­spi­ra­tion and why he's work­ing on his Ital­ian

Procycling - - Prologue -

UAE Emi­rates rider Ben Swift gets a light toast­ing

What’s your favourite race?

It’s quite a dif­fi­cult one, but I think the worlds: the whole at­mos­phere, the build up and the ten­sion that goes with it. You’re also rep­re­sent­ing your coun­try so it’s quite spe­cial. I used to take rid­ing in the na­tional jersey a lit­tle bit for granted when I was in the BC [Bri­tish Cy­cling] Academy and wore it ev­ery day for three years.

What’s your favourite climb?

I used to have favourite climbs, but I’ve not liked them much this year. One back home that I train on is called the Sur­prise - I don’t know why. It was used in the Tour of Bri­tain a cou­ple of years ago and it all kicked off there. [It’s a 2.4km, 6.4 per cent climb out of Hather­sage, south west of Sh­effield].

Who’s the best do­mes­tique in the pelo­ton?

Luke Rowe. When I raced with him you didn’t have to say any­thing, you just looked at each other and you’d al­ways be in the right po­si­tion, no matter what.

Who on the team is best at keep­ing morale high?

In this team, I’m not sure. I can’t un­der­stand them half the time – they might be mo­ti­vat­ing each other or they could be com­plain­ing! I’m work­ing on my Ital­ian.

What would you be do­ing if you weren’t a bike rider?

I wasn’t any good at school and didn’t have any am­bi­tion to be there, so prob­a­bly some­thing man­ual.

What is your best as­set as a bike rider?

De­ter­mi­na­tion and grit. I like com­ing back, look­ing to the next thing and not re­ally stay­ing down for long.

What re­sult are you proud­est of up un­til this point?

The stage win that I got in Pays Basque in 2014 is up there be­cause I was pretty pleased with my climb­ing that day. Also the first time I was on the podium in Mi­lanSan Remo. It’s a race that every­body says kind of suits me. Then to be on the podium was a bit of a sur­real mo­ment.

Do you have any pre-race rit­u­als or su­per­sti­tions?

The only thing I re­ally look at is the colour of the glasses. This year I’ve found my­self choos­ing dif­fer­ent coloured glasses. No idea why.

Who was your cy­cling hero?

I re­ally ad­mired Rob­bie McEwen and Ós­car Freire. I was re­ally for­tu­nate to be in Rob­bie’s team as a first year pro. When I was younger I was re­ally small and wasn’t seen as a sprinter, more of a track spe­cial­ist. It was only the sec­ond year at U23 where I started mak­ing changes. I liked Rob­bie’s style and he was also seen as a small rider. I iden­ti­fied with that.

Who’ll win the Tour in five years’ time?

Maybe Gianni Moscon given the way he climbed in the Vuelta. If there’s any team that can de­velop him into a con­tender, it’s Sky.

What thing could the UCI do to im­prove road rac­ing?

Just mak­ing the races safer. I like that we race in such diverse en­vi­ron­ments and there are not many other sports that do this, but some as­pects have to be im­proved.

"I re­ally ad­mired Rob­bie McEwen. I liked Rob­bie’s style and he was also seen as a small rider. I identi ied with that"

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.