Ian Stannard was in the thick of the action at the Tour of Britain as he helped Sir Bradley Wiggins to the title on Sunday.
Stannard recognised before the eight stage race started in Peebles that his role would be to help Sky’s Wiggins to the overall win but that didn’t stop him from putting in a storming ride in the third stage time trial that only saw him beaten – by just 36 seconds – by his team leader.
Overall, Stannard finished seventh in the standings, 1m34s off Wiggins’ time.
“I’ve got good form right now,” said Stannard afterwards. “To be honest I think I’ve been this strong all year.
“But whilst in the past I’ve ridden completely for others such as Chris Froome at the Tour de France, in the Tour of Britain I’ve also been able to show what I can do as well.”
Milton Keynes-based team Madison-Genesis also took to the starting line for their first Tour of Britain.
Their six man line up reflected their policy of mixing youth – especially in the shape of Alex Peters, the 2012 National Junior Series winner - and the experienced Ian Bibby and Dean Downing.
Team Manager Roger Hammond, himself a former Tour of Britain stage winner, had tipped Bibby a strong overall finish before the race started but after three falls, he aggravated a recent knee injury and had to retire from the race.
“We’d already lost another rider at that point and we could have really struggled because of that” said Hammond. “But I was so impressed with the way our riders dug in.”