Tour de France: Rider profile - Ben Swift

Take a look at one of Yorkshire’s hopefuls for a place on the start line of the Tour de France in his home county - Ben Swift.

Name: Ben Swift

Born: Rotherham

Age: 26

Team: Team Sky

Honours: 2007 Tour of Britain ‘King of the Mountains’; 2011 completed the Tour de France; 2012 scratch world champion.

He says: “If I can get a lot more wins this year, then that pushes me up the heirarchy a little bit. It’s all about the Tour de France team, which will be very hard to get on because of the emphasis placed on general classification riders.

“I know how hard it is for a rider to get selected for the Tour team, and obviously I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get selected for it. Then again, if you do get selected you’re there on merit, you know you’re not just there because it’s started in Yorkshire and you’re a Yorkshireman.

“You’re there because you deserve to be there.

“We’ve got a lot of strong guys in the team and it’s probably going to be one of the toughest targets of my career but I’ll give it my best shot because it’ll be the most rewarding achievement and because it will mean I’m in the best form of my life.

“The 2014 Tour starting in Yorkshire has given me an extra impetus, a focus, a long-term goal.”