(Reuters) – Ben Swift will return to Team Sky for the 2019 season after a two-year stint with UAE Team Emirates, the British-based team said on Monday.
Swift joined Sky when the team was formed in 2010 but left for Team Emirates in 2017 in search of more leadership opportunities.
He spent two frustrating seasons marred by injury with Team Emirates, but said he was looking forward to working with a new generation of riders on his return to Team Sky.
“It’s a great feeling to be rejoining Team Sky,” the 30-year-old said in a statement. “I’ve still got ambitions and aims for my own career, but I’m also really looking forward to going in and working with the young guys a little bit too.
“There’s an incredibly talented crop of young riders coming through and I’ve got a lot of experience now that I can lend them.”
During his previous stint with Team Sky, the Yorkshireman’s best results included two podium finishes at Milan–San Remo in 2014 and 2016 as well as a sensational stage win during the 2014 Tour of the Basque Country.
“Ben has got a crucial role to play next season,” Team Sky performance manager Rod Ellingworth said. “He’s not only a fine rider in his own right, but he’s also a superb role model for the younger riders on the team to learn from.
“In performance terms, he sits right in the middle of the team and he’s such a great team player. His attitude and professionalism sits perfectly in our team.”
(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by Susan Fenton)