"We’ve been part of that core group that has helped develop British cycling into what it is today" - Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift on importance of Luke Rowe

Luke Rowe's announcement of early retirement came as a bit of a shock. After all, his long-time teammate and friend Geraint Thomas was already plotting to hang their bikes together. Rowe's other childhood friend Ben Swift has not talked about retiring yet as he's bound with INEOS Grenadiers through 2025, however the idea must've been in the back of his mind somewhere too.

"He’s probably more immature now than when he was a kid," quipped Swift in a chat with GCN. "Nah, he’s good. We’ve grown up together and it’s hard to differentiate how he is today than from a youngster, we’ve been through each other’s hardest times together, some good times as well and he’s just the same old Luke, you know."

"There is a group of us with which it has been quite a special journey, we’ve been part of that core group that has helped develop British cycling into what it is today," Swift said. "For him to be a part of that and not only a part of it, the role he has brought to the team and to the races has been as a road captain."

"We kind of started with myself, Cav and Ed and then it slowly built with Swifty and Stannard just behind," remembered Thomas. "Luke was just at the end of that and as you see now today, it’s totally different, you’ve got British riders all over the place. He’s certainly a big part of that because he was a big part of the Tour teams and with British Cycling with the Worlds."

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