The Under 23 Great Britain team continued their run of impressive results and strong team riding on the road with Ian Stannard taking fourth overall in the five-day Thuringen Rundfahrt stage race in Germany.
Stannard was second overall before the last hilly stage but lost time on the final 10km climb to the finish and finished fourth at 56 seconds. Matthias Frank of the Swiss national team won the race. The German stage race was the last road race for the Italian-based team before they head back to the UK to begin their track build-up to the European championships in Bulgaria (July 19-22).
Earlier in the race Stannard finished third on stage one, Ben Swift was sixth in the 14km time trial and Stannard was eighth on stage three.
?Although we didn?t win the race, that was the best all-round performance from the team so far this year,? coach Rod Ellingworth told cyclingweekly.co.uk as the team headed home to the UK on Sunday.
?All the rides worked hard, were committed and helped each other. They tried to set up Ian in the final stage and got rid of the race leader but unfortunately the finish was at the top of a tough 10km climb. Ian fought all the way but there was nothing he could do against some good climbers.?
The riders will now take a break until Thursday before travelling to Newport for two weeks of intense track training ready for the European championships. They will be back in Italy in August for the second half of their European road season.