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Rob Stannard signs with Alpecin-Fenix

Robert Stannard (Team BikeExchange attacks) in breakaway during the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 9
Robert Stannard (Team BikeExchange attacks) in breakaway during the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 9 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Alpecin-Fenix announced the signing of Australia Rob Stannard on Thursday. The 22-year-old inked a deal for two seasons with the team of Mathieu van der Poel.

Stannard came through Team BikeExchange's development programme before joining the WorldTour squad first as a trainee in 2018 then for three full seasons through this year. 

He excels in sprints and one-day races, placing sixth in Brabantse Pijl this year and podium places at the Giro dell'Appennino and Giro della Toscana in addition to several top 10 in stages of the Vuelta a España in 2020.

In 2022, he will be new to the team along with Stefano Oldani (Lotto Soudal), Michael Gogl (Qhubeka), Fabio van den Bossche (Sport Vlaanderen), who fill the gaps left by the departures of Louis Vervaeke (Quickstep), Philipp Walsleben (retires), Otto Vergaerde (Trek-Segafredo), and Ben Tulett (Ineos Grenadiers).

"Moving to Alpecin-Fenix is a step in the right direction for me, a great opportunity to learn and continue developing not only my performance but also on a personal level," Stannard said.

"It will be a new challenge moving away from the Australian based team that has supported me since I first came to Europe, going to a Belgian team, but that is something I really want and am excited for. The team is clearly heading in the right direction. The future with them is very exciting and I really want to be a part of that!"

The top-ranked ProTeam earns automatic invitations to WorldTour events, and in 2020, Alpecin-Fenix ranked 12th. This season they've gone even better, and seventh in the UCI World Rankings thanks to victories by Van der Poel, who won the opening stage of the Tour de France and led the race for six stages and also won Strade Bianche and stages of Tirreno-Adriatico, Tim Merlier - winner of a stage in the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, and Jasper Philipsen, winner of two stages in the Vuelta and in the Scheldeprijs, among other results.