If you happen to pass a cyclist travelling at speed on the local roads, possibly riding behind a scooter, keep your eyes peeled for the Team Sky cycling kit, because it could just be Tour de France finalist Ian Stannard.
Known throughout the sport as ‘The Engine’, Mr Stannard, aged 26, was part of the winning Team Sky that helped Chris Froome to Tour de France glory in Paris on Sunday. This was his first Tour.
Mr Stannard, who grew up in Nash, attended Whaddon CE School, Great Horwood Combined School and then Akeley Wood School.
He started cycling for Team Keyne in Milton Keynes at the age of about eight and began training to be a professional cyclist on leaving school.
He made his breakthrough on the road in 2007 when he won the Milano-Brusetto and secured an end of season stagaire with the T-Mobile team.
He has been with Team Sky, under manager Sir David Brailsford, since the team’s inception three years ago.
Speaking of the Tour de France success, he told the Advertiser: “It was a very stressful three weeks and there was a lot of pressure on us but it’s nice to have won and it’s nice to kick back for a while.”
Describing the final stretch of the Tour, along the Champs-Elysees, as “phenomenal”, he said: “The British support there was amazing.”
Currently back at home with his mum and dad, Neil and Ann, in Castlethorpe, Milton Keynes, Mr Stannard can be spotted training on the roads around Buckingham, Silverstone, Towcester and Northampton, with rides of up to seven hours and 230km.
Former headteacher at Akeley Wood Senior School, Julian Lovelock, said: “Cycling was his talent and he’s worked so hard at it that he throughly deserves his success.”
Former headteacher at Akeley Wood Junior School, Sue Chaplin, said: “I have followed his career with great interest all through the years and I’m proud he’s achieved such great things.”