Stannard, still just 22, is at the end of his three-year neo professional deal with Australian WorldTour squad Team BikeExchange but announced that he will leave the team in 2022 to move to Alepecin-Fenix.
The Pro Series team technically operates a step down from the WorldTour, but such is their success, they receive automatic invites to most high-profile races on the WorldTour calendar and they are regarded with as high esteem as most top-level squads.
“Moving to Alpecin-Fenix is a step in the right direction for me," said Stannard in the Alpecin-Fenix press release, "a great opportunity to learn and continue developing not only my performance but also on a personal level. It will be a new challenge moving away from the Australian-based team that has supported me since I first came to Europe, going to a Belgian team, but that is something I really want and am excited for.
"The team is clearly heading in the right direction. The future with them is very exciting and I really want to be a part of that!”
Stannard had been hoping, along with his Team BikeExchange squad, to step onto the top of the podium more regularly in 2021, saying to SBS Cycling Central ahead of the season, 'This year, my goal is to be winning races'.
What role he will take up as part of Alpecin-Fenix is yet to be determined, but the prodigiously talented young rider has shown that he has plenty of versatility to offer his new team.
"We are very excited to report that Robert Stannard will be part of #AlpecinFenix from 2022 onwards," said the team in a statement. "Despite his young age – Stannard turns 23 next week – the Australian can already boast several years of WorldTour experience. Notable results include a sixth place in this year’s Brabantse Pijl and three top-ten finishes in the 2020 Vuelta."
Stannard is set to race the World Championships road race for Australia, with the elite men's road race concluding the championships on September 26.
The UCI Road World Championships from Flanders will be shown live on SBS, with a combination of live TV and live streaming showcasing the battle for the rainbow jerseys from September 19-26.