Cycling Weekly is counting down the top 30 British Riders of the Year thoughout December. The top 10 will be revealed in the December 19 issue of Cycling Weekly magazine.

NUMBER 26: IAN STANNARD

Mr Under-rated

If you want any proof of Ian Stannard’s reputation in the peloton, you need look no further than the reaction from two sports directors when they heard rumours that the 26-year-old might be lured away from Team Sky.

They both said: How much is he on? We’d take him tomorrow.

Sky, of course, had no interest in letting Stannard go and the rumours that he might switch teams were, in all likelihood, merely a bargaining chip to ensure his current employers were aware of his worth.

We’ve been saying it for a few years now but it’s still true: a massive win is inevitable at some point.

We thought it was going to happen at Milan-San Remo, on a savage day when the snow and ice froze the riders’ faces into a grimace. You didn’t particularly notice with Stannard because he always looks like that on a bike.

He was, arguably, the strongest rider in the final group of seven having earlier been away with Sylvain Chavanel and Eduard Vorganov. Then he attacked hard with four kilometres to go and again inside the final two kilometres, but to no avail.

Stannard then used his considerable strength to support Chris Froome during the Tour de France before turning in another individual performance at the Eneco Tour where he appeared to tow Zdenek Stybar over the Muur in Geraardsbergen before losing out at the death.

British Riders of the Year 2013: Related links

Number 27: Kenta Gallagher

Number 28: Emily Kay

Number 29: Owain Doull

Number 30: Katie Colclough

  • Stephen Davison

    You point out he’s under-rated….then you under-rate him.

  • JM

    Stannard is a hero. An old fashioned hard man. He needs to learn a bit more tactical nouse. I think he lost out this year because of his willingness to work in the break rather than making others do it. It requires a very special talent, e.g. Cancellara, to work and then win.