Kennaugh hoping to target Giro d’Italia and Ardennes Classics in 2013
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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kennaugh hoping to target Giro d’Italia and Ardennes Classics in 2013

by VeloNation Press at 8:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Road race championship title another target for Olympic gold medal winner

Pete KennaughReturning his focus to the road after picking up an Olympic gold medal in Great Britain’s team pursuit squad, Peter Kennaugh has outlined his wish-list for the 2013 season.

The 23 year old Manxman is developing well and wants to move up a level in the year ahead, knowing that he should continue to progress as he gets older.

He wants to compete in another Grand Tour in 2013, to clock up at least one victory and also to try his hands at some of the hillier Classics.

“I’m looking at riding the Giro again next year,” he said in an interview on the Team Sky website. He compete in the race this season despite only having limited road racing in his legs yet despite that lack of preparation due to track work, said that his sensations were good.

“I felt quite strong, and very fresh as well - my fitness was never going to be a problem,” he said. “I think the more Grand Tours you do the stronger you get. It was a whole different ball game to the one I did the year before. We were leading Cav [Mark Cavendish] out in the sprints so I had a totally completely different role within the team. That was really good and gave me something to do every day, and a lot of focus on.”

Kennaugh ultimately had to withdraw due to a problem with his foot, but states that aside from that issue, everything else was going well. “I seemed to cope with it alright and legs-wise, I was only getting better as the race went on. That's why it was a real shame to have to pull out on stage 17, but my heel injury was playing havoc,” he said.

For that reason, he’s very motivated to go back to the race next year and prove he can perform well there. Cavendish has moved on to the Omega Pharma Quick Step team and while Sky will almost certainly designate another rider to contest the sprints, the change could create opportunity for Kennaugh and the other riders too.

Whether it happens in the Italian race or in another event, he’s determined to clock up a victory. “It would be nice to get a win along the way and really just find my niche within the team,” he said. “That means becoming a rider that everyone can rely on, who goes and gets the job done.

“The chance to target a few more races for myself would be nice as well - races like the Ardennes which I haven’t experienced yet. I think they are the sort of races that really suit me, so hopefully I’ll get to do them next year and see what they’re all about.”

Kennaugh didn’t race much after the Tour of Denmark and as a result, he is a little short of fitness. However he states that the break has meant that he is very eager mentally, and is keen to knuckle down and put in a very good winter.

His preparations for the new year will likely include a stint training in Italy and then the team’s training camps in Mallorca. All going to plan, he’ll be able to show strong legs in the Ardennes races, the Giro and – after several near misses – he’ll try to win the national championships.

“Hopefully…I’m due it!” he said. “If I have a good Giro and come out of that on form, I'd like to put my hand up for that one. It would be great…”

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