11.07.2014

In Short: Ben Swift's Solid Season

Strade Bianche 2014: Swifty gets on bike
There is an interview here:
http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,17576_9554148,00.html#AfgWLTrWHFQsQ1lc.99
In short:
1. A solid season: “This year I had a couple of goals. One was just to be consistent and have a good solid year, and then to almost get the belief back for myself, but also from the team and the riders. Last year, and even to an extent the season before, I could feel myself going on a downward cycle after injury and illness. This year I’ve been able to string together such a solid season. I’ve been ill just once so there haven’t been many setbacks. I’ve had quite a few crashes but I’ve felt like I’ve rebounded from them pretty well which has been really encouraging.
2. No wins but... “I’ve been fairly consistent. I’ve been lacking those wins, but I’ve also noticed the lack of depth I’ve got dating back to last year. Last season I barely had 30 race days and I think I felt that a little bit when it came to the very end of the year this time.”
3. Seven 2nd! "I had seven second places this year. If I could have turned half of them into wins it would have been an amazing year! 
4. A good winte ahead: “What I’m looking forward to now is starting my winter break in a good position. Last winter I started my break in mid-August, needing an operation. Your morale is bad, your weight goes up – so you’re already starting in a bad place. But now I can have a normal break and relax, without having to recover from any additional issues. Hopefully I can just build on it and turn some of those second places into firsts. I really like winter training. I always come out of it really well and tend to go well early season. So I just want to make the most of that."
5. Early Goals: "I showed this year that Milan-San Remo is quite a good race for me, and 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. I do enjoy the big bunch sprints but I much prefer the hillier sprints when you’ve got 40 men left.”
6. Mixed feeling for Worlds: "It was definitely special. I did a good ride but it could always have been better. I could have been sprinting for a podium if we’d got that group back. I had that worlds target that I wanted to go there. I went out and had a look at the circuit. It’s pretty much the first time I’ve really targeted something that late in the season. It’s definitely something I’d like to target again in the future and maybe I’d look to do some things differently in the build-up.”
7. Tour of Beijing and Japan Cup: “I loved [the trip] and I really wanted to do it. When we were speaking earlier in the year I put my hand up for it as I had such good morale and motivation. I just wanted to prolong my season and get as much out of it as I could. I knew that I was targeting the world championships and I was hoping my form would carry through to the final races, as I knew perhaps half the peloton didn’t want to be there. The chances of getting results should have been quite high but I could just feel myself needing a break. It was perhaps a couple of races too far for this year. But it was good to try, and it was another country ticked off the list too. I’ve been to China before and that was good but Japan was mind-blowing. The fans were so polite but so enthusiastic at the same time. It was a really nice trip.”

My opinion:
Yes, I think that Swift can definitely achieve top results next year. I agree that his preparation has been affected by his previous bad season so his score - seven 2nd places plus others - looks even more impressive. As far as me, I'm impressed also by Swift's ability in analyse and explain: lucidity and awarness are precious gifts, they can make a difference. 

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