Ian Stannard (right)
Ian Stannard was part of three Tour de France-winning teams

Former British champion Ian Stannard has been forced to retire because of rheumatoid arthritis.

The Ineos Grenadiers rider was one of the first riders to join the team as Team Sky in 2010 and his biggest wins came in the one-day Omloop Het Nieuwsblad races in 2014 and 2015.

Stannard also helped Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins win five Grand Tours.

The 33-year-old won seven races during his career, including two stages of the Tour of Britain in 2016 and 2018.

The 2012 British road race champion also took a notable third place at Paris-Roubaix in 2016.

“It’s disappointing to have to stop like this but it is clearly the right decision for my health and my family,” Stannard said.

“I started to hope that I could manage the problem during lockdown, but as soon as I returned to racing I knew that my body wouldn’t be able to perform at any level anymore.”

Stannard, who was diagnosed with arthritis 12 months ago had continued to race in 2020.

However, he had appeared only once since the coronavirus-interrupted season resumed in July – withdrawing from the Tour of Poland on stage four.

Ineos Grenadiers team principal Sir Dave Brailsford described the Classics specialist as, “one of the hardest, grittiest riders there is”.



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