Team Sky’s Ian Stannard has spoken about the upcoming Classics season saying he would like to 'improve' on last year’s Paris-Roubaix finish.
The Briton finished third behind surprise winner Mat Hayman and Tom Boonen; and this year he is targeting an improvement. Stannard is Sky’s go-to guys when they need a job doing, in the Grand Tours he is often seen at the front setting the tempo and helping nullify any threats.
But in the early part of the season he has more licence to target the one-day races, and last year’s performance at Roubaix is indication that he isn’t far away.
It’s not all about the science for Stannard
Ever since Sky came onto the scene in 2009, the perception that lies before them is that they do everything by the numbers, and over the years Sky have missed out on the biggest one-day honours because of tactically they lacked.
It’s got better, and Wout Poels winning Liege-Bastogne-Liege last year proved that Sky are getting better; but Stannard feels Sky scientific perception has been misconstrued, saying: “Definitely for a one-day race you can’t ride that on your power meter.”
“You’ve got to feel the race and go with the front guys. You can’t just set a tempo and ride to your watts, having said that it’s a bit of an image that Sky has been given,” continued Stannard.
Stannard hopeful his experience at Roubaix and Flanders will pay-off this year
With Stannard’s early season goals being Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, Sky will be hoping they can finally add that accolade to their list of accomplishments, but Stannard has stressed victory at the big Classics takes ‘time.’
“I think it takes time with the Classics as well,” admitted the 29-year-old.
“You really need to learn the roads, where to be and how to perform in them. It’s not an easy thing to piece together but experience does pay when it comes to races like Roubaix and Flanders,” said Stannard as he eyes victory at Roubaix this year.