Ian retires from Worlds

Ian Stannard. Pic: Tom Blackman

Ian Stannard. Pic: Tom Blackman

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Riding conditions were far from ideal for Ian Stannard and the rest of Team GB as they disappointed at the cycling World Championships.

It was a race to forget for the Sky Procycling rider in Florence, Italy, as the heavens opened, making riding incredibly dangerous on the slick roads.

Having finished in seventh place overall in the recent Tour of Britain a week earlier, Stannard was clearly in top form.

He knew that he’d been chosen to ride for Team GB in support of his Sky Tour de France winning team mate Chris Froome.

But while the Great British riders have played a leading role in recent World Championships on the road – Stannard was part of the team that helped Mark Cavendish to World honours in 2011 – this year, nearly like the race itself, was a wash out for the GB riders.

The race took on epic proportions with heavy rain falling for six of the seven hours it took to complete the 272km race.

The race was eventually on by the Portuguese rider Rui Da Costa, but with around 80kms to go Stannard and the rest of the Team GB outfit had pulled out of the race.

“It was seriously bad out there,” said a downbeat Stannard afterwards.

“Riders were going down like skittles all over the place.

“I couldn’t get going properly, couldn’t do anything and as I was just sitting towards the back I pulled out of the race,” - a rare ‘did not finish’ against the rider’s name.