Ineos cycling veteran Stannard retires

·1-min read

British rider Ian Stannard has been forced to retire from professional cycling because of rheumatoid arthritis.

Stannard has been with the hugely successful Ineos Grenadiers outfit since it was launched as Team Sky in 2010 and was an integral part of five Grand Tour winning line-ups.

He was first diagnosed with arthritis 12 months ago but continued to race in 2020, starting his season in Australia in January prior to lockdown.

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

"It's disappointing to have to stop like this but it is clearly the right decision for my health and my family," the 33-year-old Stannard said.

"We have explored all of the options this year to deal with my condition, and the team has been there with me every step of the way.

"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, a graduate of British Cycling's academy alongside the likes of Geraint Thomas and Mark Cavendish, was best-known for his success in the one-day Classics and was a part of three winning Tour de France teams

He won back-to-back editions of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2014 and 2015 and placed third at Paris-Roubaix in 2016.