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Ben Swift to hunt Tour de France 2017 stage wins with UAE Team Emirates

Former Team Sky man selected for Tour de France for first time since 2011

Ben Swift will ride at the Tour de France for the first time since 2011 after being selected as part of UAE Team Emirates’ nine-man line-up for the race, which starts in Dusseldorf on Saturday (July 1).

The 2017 Tour de France will represent Swift’s first Grand Tour since he was the only Brit selected for the Giro d’Italia in 2014, and will be just his second participation at the Tour.

And the 29-year-old former Team Sky man will be targeting stage wins, benefiting from the freedom his move to UAE Team Emirates has granted him.

Ben Swift will ride for the Tour de France for the first time since 2011 (pic: Sirotti)

“This year at the Tour de France, I’ll live a new experience, because I’ll have the freedom of taking my opportunities,” he said.

“In the past, I worked for the team, now I’m happy that the team entrusted me in trying to be as competitive as possible in the stages that suit me most.”

This year at the Tour de France, I’ll live a new experience, because I’ll have the freedom of taking my opportunities

Though yet to win a race so far this season, Swift proved his form with second place behind compatriot Peter Kennaugh on Alpe d’Huez at the Criterium du Dauphine.

He is one of two riders selected to hunt for stage wins at this year’s race, with Italian Diego Ulissi – a six-time Giro d’Italia stage winner – making his Tour de France debut.

Last year’s eighth-placed finisher Louis Meintjes will lead the team’s GC charge, meanwhile, and will rival Britain’s Simon Yates for the white jersey of best young rider.

Meintjes will be supported in the mountains by Colombian climber Darwin Atapuma, while there is a strong Italian feel to the former Lampre-Merida team’s squad, with Matteo Bono, Manuele Mori and Marco Marcato joining Ulissi on the startline.

Swift finished second behind Peter Kennaugh on Alpe d’Huez as he proved his form ahead of the Tour de France (Pic: Alex Broadway/ASO)

The team is completed by Norwegian Vegard Stake Laengen and Croatian Kristijan Durasek.

Directeur sportif Mario Scirea said: “We are confident in the work done, and the last performance at the Criterium du Dauphine confirmed we are on the right track.

“We worked so hard as a team during the last month, training at altitude on Mount San Pellegrino, and all the data brings us confidence for the Tour de France.”

UAE Team Emirates for Tour de France 2017

Ben Swift (GBR)
Louis Meintjes (RSA)
Diego Ulissi (ITA)
Marco Marcato (ITA)
Matteo Bono (ITA)
Manuele Mori (ITA)
Darwin Atapuma (COL)
Vegard Stake Laengen (NOR)
Kristijan Durasek (CRO)

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