Ben Swift to target Milan-San Remo in March after breakthrough result in 2014 edition
Last Updated: 10/11/14 5:28pm
Britain’s Ben Swift will make March’s Milan-San Remo one-day Classic a key target for 2015 after sprinting to a breakthrough third place in this year’s edition.
The 27-year-old Team Sky rider achieved one of the best results of his career by claiming a surprise podium in the first of the season's five prestigious Monuments.
It triggered a purple patch in which Swift won stages of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali four days later and then the Tour of the Basque Country in April.
Next year’s Milan-San Remo will follow the same course as the 2014 edition, with the race likely to come down to a fight for position over the legendary Poggio climb and then a reduced-bunch finish, a discipline in which Swift specialises.
“I showed this year that Milan-San Remo is quite a good race for me,” Swift told teamsky.com. “I only got a pretty late call-up once we knew the course had changed. Now, we know from early on that it’s going to be the same as this year.
“I definitely want to make that a big focal point for the start of the year, and doing that works well with the races around it, like Pais Vasco [Tour of the Basque Country]. I do enjoy the big bunch sprints, but I much prefer the hillier sprints when you have got 40 men left.”
It's definitely something I would like to target again in the future and maybe I would look to do some things differently in the build-up.
Ben Swift on the world road race
A secondary focus for Swift in 2015 could well be the world championship road race in Richmond, United States, next September.
Like Milan-San Remo, Swift fared well in the 2014 edition, finishing 12th on a rolling course in northern Spain, and having experienced life at the sharp end of one of the sport’s most high-profile yet demanding races, he is keen for another tilt at the rainbow jersey.
The Richmond course is once again undulating, and a small climb just before the finish has potential to set up a reduced-bunch sprint finish.
“It was definitely special,” Swift said of this year’s world road race. “I did a good ride but it could always have been better. It’s definitely something I would like to target again in the future and maybe I would look to do some things differently in the build-up.”
In between Milan-San Remo and the world road race, Swift has highlighted turning near misses into victories in 2015.
He added: "I have been fairly consistent, [but] I have been lacking those wins. I had seven second places this year. If I could have turned half of them into wins, it would have been an amazing year."
Milan-San Remo takes place on March 22. For a full 2015 calendar, click here