Ben Swift’s hopes of riding for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympic Games have suffered a setback after the Team Sky rider was forced to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia having sustained a fractured right shoulder during a training ride.
Swift’s initial target for 2012 was selection for the men’s team pursuit at the Games but, having missed out on a place in the squad for the World Championships, where he won gold and two silvers in non-Olympic events, the 24-year-old turned his attention to the road.
Swift would have been a safe bet for the five-man Olympic road race squad, with the turn of speed required to lead-out Mark Cavendish while possessing the climbing ability to go for gold himself should nine laps of Box Hill leave the pure sprinters out of contention.
But the Rotherham-born rider now faces significant time out of the peloton following a crash on a training ride ahead of the Giro, which starts in Denmark on Saturday. Swift will be replaced by fellow Briton Jeremy Hunt in Team Sky’s nine-man squad for the first Grand Tour of the season.