Ian Stannard will not take part in the Tour de France according to Team Sky after he sustained a back injury in March.

Stannard crashed into a ditch during Gent-Wevelgem back at the end of March and has failed to recover from his spinal injuries in time for the Tour de France.

The Sky rider suffered a fractured vertebra and the injury has proven to be worse than initially thought.

The former British Champion was supposed to lead team Sky at Paris-Roubaix soon after Gent-Wevelgem but the duty was handed to Edvald Boasson Hagen as Stannard was still suffering from his injuries.

Stannard admitted that obviously he was sad that he wouldn't be able to take part in the Tour but at least he knows now and wouldn't be disappointed nearer the time.

The 26 year old said, according to Cycling News: "It was really hard to take, especially when it became clear that I wouldn't be riding the Tour de France.

"At the same time, it was nice to get a definite call - a clear cut decision. There was no uncertainty about what I should and shouldn't be doing."

The injury to his back was serious but Stannard believes it could have been a lot worse as now there is no pain at all.

Stannard said: “I'd been really lucky not to suffer any permanent damage.”

“It was sore for the first week or so after the crash, but since then I’ve felt absolutely nothing. There’s been no pain or restricted movement whatsoever. If I’d had pain, it might’ve actually meant it was less frustrating, but in my mind I feel fine.”

The Tour de France starts on the 5th July which unfortunately comes around too early for Stannard who will have an X-ray at the end of June to see how he is doing. The Sky rider won't be aloud to ride his bike until at least then, which will make it three months since he was last on it.

“It's the longest stretch I've had off my bike in years and years, as far back as I can remember actually.”

“I’ve been trying to do as little as possible but it’s been really hard. When you’re busy, you daydream about how nice it will be to have time off, but once that happens you soon get bored after a few days and it becomes really frustrating.

" I can’t fly in my current condition so me and my girlfriend hired a motor home and took a road trip around Scotland last week. That was really fun and it definitely helped take my mind off things.”

Stannard took part in the Tour de France for the first time last year and helped Chris Froome secure the yellow jersey but this year Froome will have to do it without his help.

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