Few riders in the peloton are as renowned for their heart and work-rate as Ian Stannard. The Brit has grown in stature since joining Team Sky in 2010 and routinely delivers towering performances in aid of his team-mates. Beneath that lies immense solo potential which has seen Stannard marked out as a future leader in the tough Cobbled Classics.
Carrying the prestige and the stripes of British national champion into the 2013 season, he will look to once again continue the progression that has seen him become a firm fan favourite. With his climbing and time trialling abilities all on an upward trajectory, further wins can’t be too far away.
Q & A
Who inspired you to start cycling?I tried lots of sports when I was younger and cycling came out on top. I kept progressing and here I am.
First bike:A white Peugeot.
First cycling club:Team Keyne which was part of the Milton Keynes Cycling Club.
Childhood hero:Johan Museeuw. I remember seeing him suffering on the cobbles on TV and that gave me a real passion for the Classics.
What do you love most about cycling?It's a simple way to live, going out on your bike and training, and I sometimes forget it's a job. It's a dream come true to be doing it.
What has cycling taught you?How to hurt and suffer. It also keeps you a big kid at heart.
Previous teams:2007 T-Mobile (stagiare); 2008 Landbouwkrediet; 2009 ISD-NERI
Favourite race:Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.
Favourite ride:The World Championships last season was good. Being part of that race and contributing to it was great.
If you weren't a rider, what would you be?I have no idea. I couldn't work in an office so I'd probably be a policeman or a fireman.
Interests away from cycling:Cycling takes up a lot of my time so I don't have time for much else.
Favourite film:Bond movies
Favourite music:I'm into dance music and like Tiesto and Mark Knight.
Best friend in the peloton:Anyone who wants to chat in the gruppetto.
Funniest team-mate:Bradley's the funniest, but everyone's a good laugh on this team.
Favourite food:Anything that's unhealthy.
Most famous person you've met:Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins.
Most embarrassing moment:Crashing whilst signing on for a race once.
Best advice:Becoming a pro is not easy and takes lots of hard work. You have to put the hours in on the bike but it's great when you get there. Give it everything.
European Track Championships - gold medal, team pursuit
Tour of Britain - 3rd overall
Settimana Coppi e Bartali - 1st stage 1b (TTT); Tour of Austria - 4th stage seven
Tour of Qatar - 1st stage one (TTT); Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne - 3rd
Tour of Austria - 1st stage five
British Road Race Championships - 1st