The British rider finished 10th in a demanding stage 2 and sits 10 seconds off the overall leader, Katusha's Alexander Kristoff. With Tuesday’s individual time trial to come, Stannard has every chance of pulling himself into the overall fight for the race.
Stannard missed the initial split but brought himself back into contention. From there he matched the favourites pedal stroke for pedal stroke.
“I didn’t’ have the best of starts today, to be honest. I was in one of the back groups but I managed to come back with one of the echelons and from there I managed to survive,” he told Cyclingnews.
Stannard is still feeling his way back into racing after an injury hit 2014. He took the biggest win of his career to date with victory in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. However, a crash in Gent-Wevelgem resulted in a fractured vertebrae and a four-month spell on the sidelines. He returned to racing at the Commonwealth Games but suffered the ignominy of being dropped in the opening corners of the race.
“I’m not entirely comfortable in the bunch yet after my crashes last year but I’m sure that after this race I’ll be alright. It’s been tough. I missed a whole year’s racing nearly and it’s been hard but I’m back to where I was, I think, and I’ll go from there.