LONDON: British rider Ian Stannard has been forced to retire from professional cycling because of rheumatoid arthritis, the Ineos Grenadiers team said on Thursday. Stannard has been with the hugely successful British outfit since it was launched as Team Sky in 2010 and was an integral part of five Grand Tour winning lineups. “It’s disappointing to have to stop like this but it is clearly the right decision for my health and my family,” the 33-year-old Stannard said. “We have explored all of the options this year to deal with my condition, and the team has been there with me every step of the way. I started to hope that I could manage the problem during lockdown, but as soon as I returned to racing I knew that my body wouldn’t be able to perform at any level anymore.” Stannard, a graduate of British Cycling’s academy alongside the likes of Geraint Thomas and Mark Cavendish, was best-known for his success in the one-day Classics. He won back-to-back editions of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2014 and 2015 and placed third at Paris-Roubaix in 2016.