Ben Swift has signed a new two-year contract with Team Sky, which will keep the Yorkshireman with the squad until the end of 2016.
Swift has been a member of Team Sky since the British-based outfit’s inception in 2010 and has achieved 11 victories in that time, and raced in five Grand Tours.
The 26-year-old achieved Team Sky’s first-ever stage race win at the 2010 Tour de Picardie and, in 2014, has enjoyed one of his best seasons to date, securing victories at the Tour of the Basque Country and Settimana Internazionale di Coppi e Bartali, and podium finishes at Milan-San Remo, the National Road Race Championships and the RideLondon-Surrey Classic.
“I’ve been with Team Sky since the start and five years on it really does feel like home to me,” said Swift. “To keep that relationship going was really important so I’m delighted to be staying for another two years. I already have one eye on next season and with this team I know I can deliver some good results.
“I really do feel part of the foundations of this team having grown up with so many of the riders and staff. I’ve known many of them since the start of my career and have been guided by the likes of Sir Dave Brailsford and Rod Ellingworth for years, which has made me the rider I am today.
“With the team’s support I’ve been able to grow and develop as a rider and by staying here I know that will continue.”
Swift says his victory on stage five of the 2011 has been the highlight of his five seasons with Team Sky and is relishing the opportunity to build on the success he has enjoyed to date.
“From a personal point of view, winning stage five of the Tour de Romandie in 2011 was a special moment and one I’ll always look back on with fond memories,” he said.
“That day I had a lead-out train of Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas to help me win that stage, so I had pretty impressive support around me and I was proud to deliver for them.
“Next year I’m really looking forward to getting a solid winter behind me with no injuries, which unfortunately is something I lacked this year. I’m really focused on getting a good block of training in place which will give me the platform to get good results in 2015.”
Swift follows Commonwealth Games champion Geraint Thomas in extending his contract with Team Sky and continuing as one of the British riders who stood on the stage at the squad’s launch in January 2010.
“I remember it clearly,” said Swift. “It was a really exciting day and there was a feeling that it was the start of something big. It was the first high-profile British team, with a great backing from Sky, and it felt like we were going to go far.
“To be stood there on the stage with riders that I grew up with like Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and Peter Kennaugh was a great feeling. We had big, bold ambitions from the start – to win the Tour de France in five years and inspire more people to start cycling – so to be a part of that select group of riders was special.”