Tour de France: Ben Swift shares his thoughts on yesterday and looks forward to the Alps

Swifty trying to get in the breaks again as Team Sky look to show in the final week

by Barney Fletcher   July 20, 2011  

Ben Swift in Sky kit.png

We've heard plenty from Geraint Thomas this Tour de France, what with him being our resident road.cc Fantasy Cycling pundit. Another of Team Sky's brits, Ben Swift, has also been sharing his thoughts on the race via his website. Here's his take on Stage 16 [which goes some way to explaining to Dave why he didn't pick up any fantasy points; he's not happy about that - ed] plus his plans for today as the race reaches the alps ahead of the three decsisive days: Galibier, Alpe d'Huez and the individiual time trial.

Stage 16 was a very a fast stage 162km in a little more than three and a half hours. From the gun it was attacks galore and it took a full 100km for the right break to actually form. I was happy with my day as I was part of three promising moves, but they eventually came to nothing.

On a stage like that you also need a good amount of luck on your side to make the move. I felt I had quite good legs and that I came out of the rest day really well which I was really pleased with. The team rode brilliantly again today and that move wasn’t good without us in it.

Once that break was formed it was clear it was going to the finish as the whole peloton stopped for a call of nature and the gap rapidly grew to 6minutes. With 48km left to go we knew we were never seeing them again. So when we hit that final climb I sat up, stuck it in the 27 and saved the legs for stage 17. At this point in the race there is not much point in fighting to stay with the group when you can take it easy and get ready for the next stage.

Stage 17 is going to be pretty much the same as in all out attacks. The good thing about today though is that the break with be decided a little more on physical effort than luck, as the profile is a fair bit harder than yesterday. There is also a nice little sting in the tail of this stage. With a steep climb and a very technical descent you should expect to see fireworks up this final climb from both the break and the GC contenders. I will be again trying to make that break and see what we can do in that finish.

For more of Ben's thoughts on this year's Tour head over to www.benswiftcycling.com