MILTON Keynes’ favourite cycling son visited the city over the weekend to help Corley Cycles raise more than £1,000 for the next generation of racing talent.
On Friday evening, Team Sky professional Ian Stannard was the guest of honour at ‘An Evening with Ian Stannard’ when he entertained more than 200 racing enthusiasts, as well as Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Catriona Morris, at the Jurys Inn hotel.
And on Saturday morning, before flying out to a week-long training camp in Lanzarote, Stannard visited Corley Cycles to talk further with fellow bike riders, pose for photographs, sign autographs, and then put his reputation on the line in a 500m cycling ‘Rollapaluza’ demonstration against British Cycling commissaire, Malcolm Putnam.
Before walking out to start his question and answer session on Friday evening, Stannard confessed to feeling “more scared than anything I’ve done before” but the warmth of the applause as he walked out in front of the audience quickly settled his nerves.
Having known many of those present since he started his racing career in the city, the 25-year-old had to be on his toes all evening as he dealt with the banter and answered questions about his experience at the London Olympics, his training regime, and love of the cobbled Classics.
As the current British Road Racing champion, Stannard was in good company with Phil Corley as the cycle store supremo had himself won the National Championship in 1978.
At the end of the evening one of Stannard’s signed jerseys was auctioned and raised an amazing £200, adding nicely to the coffers that will go towards supporting the next generation of budding cyclists from Milton Keynes.
“My legs haven’t had to spin like that for years,” gasped Stannard as he kept his reputation intact against the BC commissaire in the Rollapaluza on Saturday, setting a time of 24.01 seconds.
But that wasn’t the quickest time of the day as Corley Cycles mechanic Luke Smulders, who was a competitor of Stannard’s when they were both Junior riders starting their racing careers at the MK Bowl, stopped the clock at a super-quick 21.73s.