Ben Swift has been riding a bike since he could walk.
Every day he dreamed of one day taking part in the sport’s greatest event - the Tour de France. Finally the 23-year-old from Dinnington has his chance but, as is often the case, the reality is different to the imagination.
Tension has invaded the peloton, which has led to numerous crashes. The most serious for Swift’s Team Sky squad was losing leader Bradley Wiggins in stage seven.
On his day off yesterday Swift reflected that his first week in the Tour was crazy.
He told The Star: “It has been nervous all the way through. Sunday was the first time when it eased up a bit.
“Everyone is fighting for the same bit of road. I race with these guys all year but this is different. The stakes are higher - a stage win in the Tour is career changing.”
Week two sees the race head into the Pyrenees. As a specialist sprinter Swift is a decent climber but surviving the harsh slopes will be the main priority.
“My goal is to complete the Tour and hopefully win a stage. It’s starting to sink in now that I’m here, it’s a great experience,” he said.