After a highly promising two seasons with Team Sky, which saw him secure his first professional victory at the Tour of Austria earlier this year, Ian Stannard could not hide his delight at signing a contract extension for 2012 when Cyclingnews caught up with him in London earlier in the week at the launch of the new Gatorade G Series.
The 24-year-old from Chelmsford is thrilled to be part of the team’s exciting roster for next term, when the team will be looking to continue the rapid progress that they have made since their inception in February 2009.
“I really wanted to extend my deal with Team Sky as I have been very happy here,” he said. It’s a British team with a British feel and is the best place for a British rider to be. I’ve had a good year. There’s always plenty of support staff on hand to develop you and lots of riders would love to be in my position so it was a logical step to sign. Negotiations were easy and were concluded very quickly.”
After a three-week rest period Stannard is already looking ahead to winter training and to getting off to a fast start in some early season events.
“I’m just coming towards the end of three weeks off and I haven’t done any kind of sport at all during this period,” he said. “It’s important to refresh yourself mentally and physically. If you do that properly you soon start to get the bug again, and I’m starting to feel that now.
"The team runs an open ended training camp and I’ve got a decent block there in December. I’ll then be returning in January before I start my racing season in Qatar. I’ve done the Vuelta and the Worlds this year so I’ve got a good base under my belt for 2012. With a good winter I’ll hopefully be able to get myself up there in the classics and prove what I can do.”
Ian Stannard was speaking at the launch of the Gatorade G Series Pro range, a new series of sports performance products that fuel athletes before, during and after workout, practice or competition. Available to buy in stores from November 20th, follow @GatoradeUK for more information.