How is Ben Swift's first Tour de France going?
Ben Swift, Tour de France 2011
Yorkshireman Ben Swift is making his first appearance in the Tour de France. We briefly grabbed a word with the 23 year old after yesterday's stage finish to see how it was all going.
How have you found your first few days on the Tour?
It's been good. In fact it's been manic. Absolutely crazy. The whole presence around the race is bigger than I've ever experienced. It's just up another level up from races like the Giro. There you found you could move around the peloton quite easily. Obviously it's a bit hectic going into a sprint there, but all day here it is hard to move around.
Is the racing going well?
Monday could have been quite good but I got caught in the peloton when it swung left. Unfortunately, Eddy [Boasson Hagen] nearly crashed and there was a knock on effect. I was on his wheel. We were trying to set the stage up for me.
You knew about that corner with 500m to go?
We knew about it but it was quite a lot sharper than everyone thought! It caught a few people by surprise.
Do you think you can hold your own in the Tour sprints?
They're definitely chaotic and so much faster but it's just gaining that experience really. I'll have another go tomorrow [Wednesday]. We've got me and Eddy here so we'll share the sprints between us.
Could Sky adopt a dual pronged approach where both you and Boasson Hagen go for a sprint?
Probably not because we need to use each other to get the best result. Then we've got Geraint [Thomas] as the next man [in the leadout]. He's so useful. He does the job of about five different riders. It's really impressive.
How have you found the Tour off the bike?
It's chaotic but we've got a nice comfy bus to chill out on. You've got to make the most of the time when you're stuck in traffic.
Read Ben Swift's column on his first few days at the Tour de France in this week's Cycling Weekly.