Stannard claims victory
Ian Stannard claimed victory in the men's 182km race at the British Championships
Ian Stannard emulated 2010 winner Geraint Thomas and 2011 champion Bradley Wiggins - both absent to concentrate on the Olympics and Tour de France, respectively - with victory in the men's 182km race at the British Championships title in Ampleforth.
Five Team Sky riders began the race and Stannard made the early break alongside team-mate Alex Dowsett and three others. The pace was relentless and only Russell Hampton (Raleigh-GAC) could stick with them. Stannard attacked on the penultimate lap to claim a third successive victory for Team Sky, with Dowsett second and Hampton third.
"It's nice to win nationals," Stannard said.
"Some great guys have worn the jersey.
"It will be nice to wear it in the classics next year and hopefully represent it well."
Stannard, Ben Swift, who was fourth, and Jeremy Hunt are all vying for a place in the five-man Olympic team which is expected to be confirmed this week.
It appears the five Britons riding the Tour, which begins in Liege on Saturday, are in prime position.
Stannard, though, showed he could be a fine reserve behind Mark Cavendish, Wiggins, David Millar, Steve Cummings and Chris Froome.
Stannard added: "There are guys going to the Tour. They're going to be really strong, so we'll see."
Dowsett said: "Stannard was on another planet today. Russ and I were hanging on to Ian and when he decided to go there wasn't much we could do about it."