WORLD cycling champion Ben Swift returned home to a hero’s welcome and immediately set his sights on further glory this year.
The 24-year-old from Dinnington was greeted by parents Sandy and Mark and close friends at a surprise party at girlfriend Lizi’s parents’ house in Whiston, Rotherham, yesterday.
And once the handshakes and hugs had been completed Swift was mentally preparing himself for returning to road racing with Team Sky.
He said: “The Giro d’Italia is coming up at the beginning of May, so I’ve about two or three weeks to get prepared for that, and that (the Giro) is massively different to what I’ve been doing before.
“I just want to get back out there now with the Sky boys and really try for it. We’ve got Cav (Mark Cavendish) in it too, so we could get some really good results.”
There’s also the question of the Olympic Games to consider for Swift.
The scratch race, in which he won gold at the World Championships in Melbourne last week, and the points race and madison, where he won silver in both aren’t Olympic disciplines.
He said he will talk to Team GB bosses over the next few days: “When I’m over the jet-lag I’ll sit down with the coaches and decide what we’re going to do.
“The events I did well in aren’t in the Olympics, which is a bit of a pain.
“I think I’m the first British rider to win a medal in three endurance events.
“It has all happened so fast that it’s not sunk in. It’s definitely got me the bug back for track racing again.”
The laid back Swift was clearly emotional with his welcome back to Rotherham, although he wasn’t totally surprised. “I kind of thought something was happening because Lizi was quiet on the way back!” he said.