News: First Pro Win for Ian Stannard

Team Sky’s Ian Stannard claims his professional individual victory as he wins stage five of the Tour of Austria.
The Milton Keynes rider who found his feet racing with Team Keyne, worked his way into a five-man break on the 157.2 kilometres route from St.Johann/Alpendorf to Schladming and the quintet were still clear of the field heading into the destinantion town. With the race between them, it was Stannard who proved strongest as he outsprinted his breakaway compansions, with Latvian Gatis Smukulis (HTC-Highroad) in second and local favourite Stefan Denifl (Leopard Trek) third.

After the finish, a delighted Stannard talked the Team Sky web team through his triumph, saying: “The plan was to get in the break as this stage looked to have the best chance of it staying away. I managed to get in the break and it was a pretty strong group of five so it all looked quite good. But they didn’t really let us get too far ahead; I think our biggest time gap was four and a half minutes. It started to come down a little too so it was a bit unsure for a while but as we went over the last climb with 27k remaining we still had an advantage of 2:50 as well as a bit of a tailwind so it looked good again. Everyone committed and I just tried to play it pretty cool and won the sprint – so it was pretty easy really (laughs)!”

“It’s my first proper pro victory so it’s pretty special. We all feel a bit left out here with the Tour de France going on so thought we’d better do something and let everyone know we’re in Austria (laughs again)! There are only six of us here but we are all working really well together and there’s a great atmosphere.”

Full Story