Ian Stannard forced to retire due to rheumatoid arthritis

The British rider calls time on a 13-year professional career

Ian Stannard (Photo by Luc Claessen/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ian Stannard has been forced to retire from professional cycling due to rheumatoid arthritis.

The 33-year-old has spent 13 years in the pro peloton but will be calling it a day at the end of 2020.

"End of an era. After a hugely successful career, British rider Ian Stannard has been forced to retire from professional racing due to rheumatoid arthritis. Thanks for so many amazing moments, Yogi," Ineos Grenadiers said in a statement.

Stannard raced for Ineos, formerly Team Sky, since the team's inception in 2010, joining the roster alongside the likes of Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins and Ben Swift.

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He raced 10 Grand Tours during his career, all but one for Ineos, his debut Giro d'Italia in 2009 having been for ISD, now Vini Zabù - KTM.

The Brit also took seven wins in total throughout his racing days, including two stages of the Tour of Britain as well as two editions of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, his 2015 win being a memorable one where he beat the Quick-Step trio of Tom Boonen, Niki Terpstra and Stijn Vandenburgh to take victory.

He also came close in Paris-Roubaix, finishing third in 2016 behind Mathew Hayman and Boonen in the velodrome sprint, while his other highest Monument finish was at the 2013 Milan - San Remo, where Stannard came sixth.

Stannard only took the start in one race following lockdown, the Tour of Poland, where he DNFed the penultimate stage four.

Before that, he had raced a typical schedule to open the season, heading to the Tour Down Under in Australia, before taking part in the Tour de La Provence before the opening weekend in Belgium of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne.

Stannard is the second British rider to be leaving the team of the same nation at the end of the season, with Chris Froome moving to Israel Start-Up Nation.

Ineos will replace them with two younger British riders, in Adam Yates and Tom Pidcock, while they are also bringing in Richie Porte, Laurens De Plus and Dani Martínez to bolster their squad.

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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.