Talkingshop: London Nocturne winner Ian Stannard

In his second interview from a night in London, Paul Burgoine talks to the Nocturne winner, Ian Stannard

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Thanks to Paul Burgoine for this interview

PB: Having ridden the Olympic road race course, what is your opinion on it?
Ian Stannard: “Yep… it’s not easy and it’s not straight forward that’s for sure. UK roads are heavy and don’t roll very well so generally on your bike, you are working a lot harder. It’s going to be awkward also as the roads are very narrow so there will be a lot of fighting for position.”

“Personally I think it’s going to suit your good bike handlers and your classics riders. I expect to see a lot of them in the front group coming into the finish, your top Ardennes riders and the northern classics riders. I think the general wearing down of the course will cause splits. It’s not a massive field for the Olympics so it’s going to break up. Nine times up Box Hill isn’t easy and you have got to be in the right position in the front so all these factors are going to come into it.”

Ian Stannard doing what he does best … driving a group along until there’s no-one left to challenge him.

PB: How do you feel your season has panned out so far?
Ian Stannard: “I would have liked my Classics campaign to have gone better and have got a result myself but I’m an engine and that’s what the team use me for, it’s my job and I’m more than happy to do that. In that respect, it’s gone really well. The team have had some good performances – also some disappointing ones”.

“San Remo was disappointing with all the work we put in but I don’t think the result reflected the way the team rode. So in general, things have gone well and the team is looking to build on its success over the next few years so that is a positive thing.”

PB: Do you think you will be given the freedom in the Classics to ride for yourself in the future?
Ian Stannard: “Honestly I don’t know. I would like to think so as I really believe I can perform in them. I managed to ride on the front a lot in them this year and it gives me the confidence to compete in those races and be good at them. I’m still only 24 so I have got a way to go yet.

“I know the races so I’ve got no excuses. It’s just all about performance now so hopefully I will get my chance and become a top classics rider, that’s the plan.”

PB: How stressful is it being the rouleur of the team along with matt Hayman?
Ian Stannard: “The pressure is what we put on ourselves. We don’t get a huge amount from our team. Me and Matt Hayman just do our own thing so we do put pressure on ourselves but you can only do what you can do in the race. I go into a lot of races knowing that I’m not there to perform at the end so I’ve just got to do my job in the middle of the race and towards the end of the race.”

“So you don’t have that stress of having to go into the final with 15 or so riders I just go to the front and ride hard then ride a bit harder.”

PB: You must get a lot of satisfaction from dropping riders off the back of the peloton…
Ian Stannard: “Yeah, absolutely. When you hear over the radios – guys what’s going on, the race is falling apart, you think, oh brilliant, lets go harder! Stuff like that really eggs me on it, makes me put more power down, when you look behind and people are suffering – I love that and it enables me to go even harder even though you’re near your limit, you find that extra little bit.”

PB: I have to ask this question and its going back a bit but in the Worlds there was one moment when you took Cavendish through a tiny gap do you remember that?
Ian Stannard: “I know exactly what you mean. Loads of people have said, how did you get through that? Basically, everyone had committed to Cavendish winning and we all put in 110% but I can’t ride at 70kph for three kilometres so we had to back off a little bit. So I just slotted in and once Bradley pulled off the front, the Aussies came over us and took it up so it worked out perfectly.”

“They left a little gap on the right and I knew we wanted to go into the corner on the right so we could go over to the left and run them wide. Matt Goss was yelling at them to close the gap so I thought I got to go for it now or there is going to be real problems.”

“We had Cavendish on the wheel and he’s the fastest guy out there and everything British cycling had been doing over the years had been geared towards this, so there was no messing up. I just opened up the gap for Geraint and Cavendish to come through. Looking back at it in hindsight, it was a tight gap but when your racing and in the zone it looked like a big gap to me and I wouldn’t want someone my size squeezing through inside me.”

Ian Stannard in full flight on the front of the pro peloton with Jeremy Hunt right behind.

PB: What do you think having Sky involved with in British Cycling has done for the sport?
Ian Stannard: “I think it goes back to when British Cycling first got got the World Class Performance Funding and when sky got involved it went up to a whole new level. The amount of people you see out on their bikes now enjoying themselves is amazing. Five years ago you would not have seen that and every year its growing and growing and peoples general awareness of cycling in the UK is growing.”

PB: What are your personal targets for the rest of the season?
Ian Stannard: “Obviously I want to be part of the Olympic Team. I’m pretty sure I can go there and do an awesome job for Cav. It’s the kind of circuit where I can show well and do a very good job for him as its quite technical and I’m good at that sort of stuff, plus I think it’s going to be like a classics race, I would love to do the job for Cav given the chance and it would be a massive privilege and opportunity for me.”

PB: How do you feel about racing at the London Nocturne?
Ian Stannard: “Yes, its really exciting, what with the Olympics here, these sort of events really get the atmosphere building and it will give people an experience of what it will be like at the Olympic road race. With a bit of luck, this will wet people’s appetites and get them out on the streets for the Olympic Race.”


RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Tags: , ,