Winner of the 2014 Het Nieuwsblad, Ian Stannard is growing in to Team Sky's strongest classics rider. The Briton is a graduate of British Cycling's Olympic Academy and has ridden with the likes of Geraint Thomas and Mark Cavendish since he was a junior.
Date of birth: 25/05/1987
Previous teams: ISD (2009); Landbouwkrediet (2008); T-Mobile (2007)
Ian Stannard career profile
Ian Stannard is yet another product of the early years of British Cycling’s Olympic Academy.
Stannard made his breakthrough on the road in 2007, riding the latter part of the season as a stagiare for the T-Mobile team and winning the Milano-Brusetto race.
The young Briton then joined the Belgian Landbouwkrediet team, which although not a ProTour team, was more beneficial for Stannard as it allowed him to ride some of the Classics in the early part of the season, something which would not have been possible at a bigger team. Stannard used this opportunity to his advantage, riding and completing the Tour of Flanders, Ghent-Wevelgem and Paris-Roubaix: no mean feat for a neo-pro.
Stannard then joined the new British-backed Sky team for 2010 after a year spent with the Italo-Ukranian ISD outfit.
Stannard’s move to Sky seemed to be working for him in 2010, with his most eye-catching performance coming in the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne – he recorded a third place finish, following a successful breakaway move. Stannard topped that in 2011 with a stage win in the Tour of Austria from an escape group.
In 2012, Stannard won the British road race title after making a solo move from an earlier escape group, but his best season to date certainly came in 2013, where he confirmed his status as a genuine Classics contender.
Sixth place at Milan-San Remo was the highlight, but Stannard was a protagonist of aggressive riding throughout the early season campaign, and it is likely a matter of time before he gets a victorious reward.
After a strong 2013 classics season that nonethless saw him come away without a victory, Stannard came good in 2014 with a win in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on March 1, out-sprinting Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) for his biggest win to date.
Ian Stannard results
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
British national road race champion
Tour of Austria; stage five
Tour of Qatar, stage 1 TTT
British National Road Race Championships, 3rd
Settimana Coppi e Bartali, stage 1 TTT
Tour of Britain, 3rd
Eddy Soens memorial race
Under-23 European team pursuit champion
Cycling Weekly’s Rider Profiles: Index