Stannard bids to protect his man Froome

Ian Stannard ENGPNL00220130924141547
Ian Stannard ENGPNL00220130924141547
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Ian Stannard will support Chris Froome’s bid to win a second Tour de France this summer as he was named part of Team Sky’s line-up.

The former Team Keyne junior racer missed out on a place in the Tour last season due to injury, but a third place in the National Road Race championship on Sunday all but guaranteed his place in the team this year.

Stannard knows from his experiences in 2013 how difficult racing in the Tour can be though as he said: “Racing the Tour is just so incredibly stressful so it’ll be nice just to get round to the finish.

“Those first nine stages, the stress levels will just be huge.

“It is the biggest race of the year so there’s all to play for and all to lose.

“You have riders diving in front of you, riding into you.

“And this year in the first nine stages when it really will be my job to ride for and protect Chris.

“We’ll have a stage that’s a mini-Ardennes Classic, cross winds like in Qatar and cobble roads including a mini-Roubaix when there’s cobbles.

“And that’s even before we get to the high mountains!

“So yes, getting to Paris will be great.”

The Tour begins in Utrecht in Holland on Saturday.