Ian Stannard hopes home crowd can roar Team GB to road race gold

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CITY cyclist Ian Stannard says he is ‘looking forward to getting stuck in’ to the Olympic Road Race later this month after his place on the British team was confirmed yesterday.

The newly crowned British Road Race champion will be part of Team GB’s five-man squad for the London 2012 Men’s Road Race that takes place on the opening Saturday of the Games, July 28.

The 25-year-old will be joined by Mark Cavendish – the current World Road Race champion who is hotly tipped to add the Olympic title to his already glowing list of honours – Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and David Millar. They had all be named in a preliminary eight-man squad, now cut down to five.

Cavendish, Wiggins and Froome are team-mates with Stannard at Team Sky and that trio are presently racing in the three-week Tour de France, hoping to help Wiggins to become Britain’s first ever winner of La Grande Boucle.

For Stannard, selection for the Games is recognition for the tireless amount of work he regularly puts in at Team Sky and which has already helped Cavendish to a number of race wins this year.

The Olympic Road Race, which starts and finishes on London’s iconic Pall Mall, will be contested over 250kms and will include nine leg-sapping laps of a 15.5km circuit around Box Hill in Surrey.

The quintet were also part of the Team GB line-up that helped Cavendish to his world champion’s crown last year, and in that race Stannard played a pivotal part in the closing kilometres, leading Cav through the bunched Aussie riders to the front of the race and his rainbow jersey.

Stannard said: “It feels great to have been selected for my first Olympic Games, and it’s even better to know that we’ve got the support of the home crowd behind us.

“I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to the race and giving Mark as much support as possible on the day.”