Swift to chase best in the world at Ride London-Surrey Classic

Ben Swift will lead the British challenge at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

After a six-year break, Swift recently completed his second Tour de France and will be hoping to force himself into contention against some of the world’s best sprinters.

The 29-year old, second in last year’s Milan-San Remo, was second in the race three years ago and third one year later.

But he’ll need to step up to finally crack the podium over a route that recreates the London 2012 Olympic road race, taking riders through the Surrey Hills via Leith Hill, Ranmore Common and Box Hill before an iconic finish on The Mall.

German sprinter Andre Greipel will make his debut in world’s richest one-day race, which will be a WorldTour event for the first time.

But he’ll be up against Team Sky’s sprint specialist Elia Viviani and Tour de France green jersey winner Michael Matthews – who is still in disbelief following his success on the Tour.

He’s barely been on a bike since finishing on the Champs Elysees, though took time out to take his motorbike licence at his home in Monaco.

“My dream and goal in cycling was the win this jersey, I just didn’t think it would come when I was 26,” he said.

“Some of my Australian cycling heroes have won this jersey is very special and we’re hoping to get together soon to celebrate.

“I think the course is really punchy with lots of small climbs and it really suits me and hopefully I’m carrying some good form in from the Tour.

“There are lots of rivals. Andre will be coming here with a bit of anger from the Tour where he had a few near misses and he’ll be super-motivated but Elia will obviously be a big threat too and there are lots of others who’ll consider themselves in contention.

“It’s a really beautiful course and I remember watching the Olympics thinking how much I wanted to race on these roads. The crowds are super motivating for the riders in London.”

Over 30,000 riders will tackle the 46 and 100 mile course, which snake there way out of the capital, through south-west London to Surrey and back again.

In addition to a host of amateur, celebrities will also be lining up, with double Olympic boxing champion Nicola Adams among those taking a step outside their comfort zone.

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