Kennaugh best of the brits
After his stellar year, Britain’s Simon Yates of Team GB, along with his brother Adam, were both hovering there or thereabouts in people’s Innsbruck expectations, but on the day it was Manxman Peter Kennaugh who enjoyed the best legs of the British team, ultimately placing 16th.
“I felt pretty good all race, I just didn’t have it on that steep climb,” Kennaugh said afterwards. “I knew it was going to be difficult; I tried to force something on the circuit climb.”
Kennaugh’s performance was a return to form in a season where he struggled with “feeling down” and fatigue earlier in the year, which resulted in an absence from racing.
Ian Stannard and Tao Geoghegan Hart spent two circuits softening up the bunch before Kennaugh’s attack on the Olympic circuit climb with 45 kilometres remaining. He opened a sizeable gap before he was overhauled and tried again a lap later, with the intention of positioning Adam Yates at the foot of Hottinger Höll. In the event Kennaugh was stronger even than Yates, who went on to place 37th.
“After I was brought back I spoke to Adam [Yates] and he said Simon wasn’t on a great day and so, yeah, just do what we can.”
BC performance director Stephen Park said he had no complaints with the performance of his charges.
“I think the guys rode well, they rode to the plan,” he said. “In the middle section of the race they tried hard to put the pressure on — they were pretty much pulling the bunch along for a couple of hours.”
Kennaugh opens up a gap on the Olympic climb