The cycling world has reacted to the shock news that Ian Stannard has been forced to retire due to health problems.
The 33-year-old has become an icon of British cycling in the pro peloton, building an impressive palmarès while riding in support of Chris Froome in five of his Grand Tour victories.
Friends, team-mates and fans have all shared their thoughts as Stannard leaves the pro peloton.
Luke Rowe, who joined Stannard at Team Sky in 2012, said on Instagram: “Many a smile spent chopping off with this big man.
“Always a good crack on and off the bike. Enjoy retirement Yogi Bear.”
Both Rowe and Stannard have targeted the spring Classics when given their own opportunities and had some hugely impressive results – Rowe with fifth place in the Tour of Flanders and eighth in Paris-Roubaix, while Stannard won two editions of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, was third in Paris-Roubaix and finished sixth in Milan-San Remo.
“Going to miss you mate, but what a career.”
Cycling journalist Paul Knott said: “I’ve never felt Stannard got the recognition he deserved from the masses, which he probably didn’t mind in all honesty.
“But I’m sure his team-mates would say he was one of their most valuable and loyal in some of the biggest races during his career.”
Commentator Ant McCrossan said: “What a rider!
“His win in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad is a cult moment in cycling. Ian Stannard, all the very best.
“A bike rider made for the toughest of conditions. His results speak for themselves.”