Ian Stannard: Slipstream supplier

If you have ever put your hand out of the window of a moving car you will have a pretty good understanding of what Ian Stannard does for a living.

You would have an even better understanding of the 28-year-old Englishman's job if you have ever put two hands out of the window, one behind the other.

Stannard, affectionately known as Yogi by his very grateful teammates, is the hand in front: the one feeling the full force of the air rushing past; the one working harder to stay still.

Mark Cavendish and Chris Froome are just two of the cycling superstars who have enjoyed an easier ride thanks to Stannard's ability to punch a big hole through air.

Italians call riders like Stannard "gregarios", which roughly translates as a supporter; in French they are "domestiques", or servants.

They fetch food and water from the team cars, drop back to help pace their leaders if they crash or puncture and even give up their bikes if need be.

A winner in his own right, Stannard is the consummate team player whether he is riding for Froome at the Tour de France in Team Sky colours, or his Great Britain colleagues in the men's road race at the World Championships on Sunday, 27 September.

BBC Sport's Matt Slater went to talk to the man who is happiest when he is setting a fierce pace at the front of the pack, shielding his mates and hurting his rivals.

Watch live coverage of the World Road Championships 2015 from Richmond, Virginia, USA, on the Red Button from Tuesday, 22 September.

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