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Page last updated at 14:41 GMT, Friday, 15 January 2010

Ben Swift excited for Team Sky debut in Australia

Ben Swift
Swift signed for Team Sky after a dispute with former team Katusha

Britain's Ben Swift says Team Sky are "super-motivated" for their race debut season in Adelaide on Sunday.

They compete in the Cancer Council Classic in Adelaide, a curtain-raiser for the start of the Tour Down Under on Tuesday in Clare, South Australia.

"We'd love to have a stage win, but if we can work well as a team it will bode well for the year," said Swift.

The race will also see the debut of Team Radioshack, led by seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Britons Russell Downing and Chris Froome are also in Team Sky's seven-man team competing in Australia.

Australians Chris Sutton and Mathew Hayman, New Zealand's Greg Henderson and and Italian Davide Vigano complete the line-up.

Meanwhile, the rest of the squad, including former Garmin star Bradley Wiggins, are continuing their season's preparations in Europe.

Alex M

Swift was only confirmed as a member of the expensively-assembled squad earlier in January after successfully freeing himself from a contract with Russian team Katusha.

The 22-year-old, who secured a stage win in the Tour of Britain last year, is keen to see his new team-mates in action.

"We've all got a role, but in training you've got no one challenging you and it's a case of whether we can pull it off in the race," he said.

"The guys from the Tour Down Under said they were surprised how well we were going considering the winter we've been having. But we've had a really good week and we're all super-motivated."

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will use the races to launch his new RadioShack team, while current world road champion Cadel Evans will also appear in front of his home supporters for the BMC Racing Team.

Team Sky's Henderson, recruited from Columbia-HTC, is anticipating some high-quality sprint duels once the six-stage Tour Down Under gets underway.

"You could have the perfect lead-out and the best sprint but still finish seventh because you've got six of the best sprinters in the world in front of you," he said.

"You've got Columbia-HTC's André Greipel, you've got Katusha's Robbie McEwen, who has won 12 stages of the Tour de France.

"Add to that people like Radioshack's Gert Steegmans, Saxo Bank's JJ Haedo - and I could go on. It's brilliant for the fans and brilliant for the riders."

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see also
Wiggins eyes Team Sky Tour win
04 Jan 10 |  Cycling
Dispute as Swift lined up by Sky
06 Dec 09 |  Cycling
Team Sky announce Wiggins capture
10 Dec 09 |  Cycling
Wiggins keen for Team Sky switch
21 Nov 09 |  Cycling
Yates to join Team Sky as coach
20 Nov 09 |  Cycling
Team Sky sign three more riders
29 Oct 09 |  Cycling
Wiggins hints at Team Sky switch
25 Sep 09 |  Cycling
Foreign stars sign for Team Sky
10 Sep 09 |  Cycling
Swift ends GB's Tour win drought
18 Sep 09 |  Cycling

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