Britain's Chris Froome had nothing but praise for team worker and national champion Ian Stannard for his strong riding in the UCI Road World Championships on Sunday. Stannard chased down breaks by riders as powerful as Andrew Talansky as well as guiding Jonathan Tiernan-Locke to the foot of the Cauberg on the last lap, when he and the British climber were the last two riders from their country in the front group.
"He did the ride of his life today," Froome told Cyclingnews. "For a big boy like him to get round a course like this - that's really impressive. Also JT, this is his first race at over 200 kilometres, to come to a World Championships like this and do so well, that's an achievement in itself."
Given Tiernan-Locke had some of cycling's very top names working for him, Froome said it was a situation where "he was probably feeling a bit of pressure and a bit surprised to have a whole team working for him like that, but he rose to the occasion and did what he wanted to do."
Visibly tired after a tough season, Froome joked that he was "happy to have made it to the circuit [after the first 101 kilometres from Maastricth to the Valkenburg circuit] and not have to hitch-hike home."
"I pulled out after about 190 kilometres, I could see that there was no job left for me, Belgium were pulling and we had Steve [Cummings] in the break. It was time to stop."
Froome's season is now over, "from the real races at least, although I may do a couple of invitational events. It's time to switch off and ease back."
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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