ANSTON cycle star Ben Swift has come in for special praise from Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford.
The cycling supremo wants to see the 23-year-old continuing to improve, after a ‘breakout’ year in the sport with five stage wins at races around the world.
Brailsford said Swift’s success in the saddle came from his dedication in training.
“Ben needs to make sure that he builds on what he has done already,” he said.
“There’s no doubt about it, he did have a breakthrough year this year.”
“He’d lacked a bit of consistency due to injury which had made it difficult for him to string together a consistent period of training and he really worked hard last winter.”
“And it paid massive dividends for him. He came out all guns firing and started off on the front foot and he didn’t let up. So it was very pleasing.”
“He has achieved a lot, but in our sport everything comes through hard work, it doesn’t come any other way.”
“So he’s got to continue to work hard, keep the same desire and appliance of training, stay injury-free, and he’ll progress a long way, there’s no doubt about that.”
Team Sky have added to their already star studded roster this week, with Mark Cavendish joining the team, the man who won the green jersey as the 2011 Tour de France’s best sprinter and then added the world road race title.
Brailsford believes that the news can only benefit youngsters like Swift.
“The standard of cyclists coming into Sky well help him,” he said.
“You perform better in a stronger team and you perform better with stronger people around you.”
“That creates an in-team competition. World-class riders training on a day-to-day basis creates a rivalry.”
“It’s actually a very healthy thing because you can’t just go through the motions and get selected for the team. You’re going to have to be on top of your game to race.”
“Ben is still young, he’s got a great attitude, desire, and there’s no reason why he cannot go a very long way. The bottom line is it’s in Ben hands.”