Video: Ben Swift—Team Sky sprinter on supporters in team jerseys & getting back to winning
Yorkshireman already showing signs of winning form

Those obsessed with certain sets of ‘rules’ about cycling etiquette say that, among other things, you shouldn’t ride in a team’s kit. But in this video, Team Sky sprinter Ben Swift says he likes seeing people out in his team’s clothing, showing their support.

Swift says that his main goal for the 2014 season is to get back to winning races, after an injury-plagued 2013. “2013 was a year to forget,” he says.

He’s made a good start already, with a podium place at Milan-San Remo on Sunday and a win Thursday at the opening stage of the Settimana Coppi e Bartali.

Swift contrasts the scarcity of cyclists on the roads around his native Rotherham with the situation today “where “if you go out on the local club runs you get 60 people out. It’s nice to know that people are out there supporting you from back home, wearing the team jerseys and just generally getting out on the bike more.”

Swift says his favourite places to ride are in Italy and SOuth Africa.

“I started my under-23 career in Tuscany so that always has fond memories; I just love the roads out there. Recently I’ve been going to South Africa a lot, to Cape Town and Cape Point and thats just beautiful. It’s something totally different.”

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.


mattanthony [10 posts] 1 year ago

Happy to wear the Sky kit - it is good quality and Rapha have a free repair service too...which lead them to replacing my kit gratis when I had an accident last year and had to have it cut off me by paramedics.

Great team, great kit supplier, great sponsor. Those who believe rules have any say on what I choose to wear are obviously wrong - they don't.

mikefreer [17 posts] 1 year ago

It's good to hear a pro's view on this. I know it has become a real heated debate in the cycling world.

I think people should wear what they want and feel confident in wearing a pro jersey as long as they are out enjoying being on their bike. You don't have to be a pro to wear a sky jersey. It's the same as a football fan wearing their teams kit....doesn't mean they have to be amazing at football in order to wear it!!!

I just think the cycling community just need to be in high spirits that more and more people are getting on their bikes, instead of worrying about (and looking down on people) that are wearing a jersey of a team they support.

Anyway.....I love wearing my team sky jersey (and believe me.....I'm no Chris Froome)

ColT [267 posts] 1 year ago

Out here (in Taiwan), pro' team kit is everywhere. I've recently ridden with Eddie Boss, Wiggo, Cav, Thor and countless others. I think it's partly because there is not really a club scene - some local teams but not really clubs like we have at home.

I couldn't give a toss about the so-called rules, but I personally wouldn't wear trade kit. I think I can understand the upset when it's World Champion kit or one of the National Champions' jerseys - as they say, you have to earn those stripes, so perhaps it's a little disrespectful. Dunno?

In the end, bums on bikes. What's the problem?

Kinky aggro [4 posts] 1 year ago

Comments here make a lot of sense. I love wearing my Sky & British Cycling kit. Local kids overtake me but I have no ego in that respect. I totally agree with ColT though - national champion jerseys and the like are to be earned. The wife bought me a Froome TdF yellow jersey for Xmas. I think it's great. I won't wear it though - at least not until I've won the TdF  3