Tour de France: Pete Kennaugh says Team Sky selection is a 'dream come true'

Last Updated: 20/06/13 5:17pm

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Pete Kennaugh will make his debut in the Tour de France this summer

Pete Kennaugh will make his debut in the Tour de France this summer

Sky Bet

Pete Kennaugh has described being named in Team Sky's line-up for the Tour de France as "incredible" and "a dream come true".

The 24-year-old Isle of Man rider will make his first appearance at cycling's showpiece race this summer and is one of four Britons in the squad, along with fellow debutant Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas and race favourite Chris Froome.

Kennaugh's selection came on the back of a stand-out performance at the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month, which Froome won, and arrives a year ahead of his own schedule.

"I'm really happy to be one of the nine guys selected from such a strong team," Kennaugh said. "It is something I did not really target at the start of the season, but I have come into a late run of form, and to be selected is a dream come true.

"I had a good idea I would be in it [after the Dauphine], but it is nice to hear you have officially been selected. To be a year ahead of where we want to be is good.

"All the work that I have done through the winter since January, all the training and hard racing, to finally get picked is good and I can't wait to get on with it."

Road readjustment

The Tour takes place from June 29 to July 21 and Kennaugh is set play a supporting role to Froome's bid to win the yellow jersey in Paris.

He is used to putting collective gain before individual glory, having formed part of the Britain's gold medal-winning team pursuit squad on the track at last summer's Olympic Games.

Kennaugh, who has been with Team Sky since the squad's inaugural year in 2010, admits re-adapting to life on the road has been a challenge, but one that he has relished.

"It is obviously a total different ball game," he added. "The team pursuit is a short, fast discipline with it only being 4km.

"Then you have got the likes of the Tour de France or Tour of Italy. They are up to 200km a day for 21 days, so it is almost like a different sport.

"The white jersey is something which could maybe come as a bonus. If I can wear the white jersey for a few days, I would be super happy."
Pete Kennaugh

"They are both hard in different ways, but road cycling and stuff like the Tour de France is another league compared to team pursuit."

One aspect that has made Kennaugh's readjustment to the road easier is the fact he remains surrounded by team-mates and coaches with whom he has worked for the best part of a decade.

White ambitions

"It makes life a lot easier when you have built up these relationships over so many years," he explained. "I first met Dave [Brailsford, Team Sky principal] when I was 16 at the Junior European Championships, so I have known him for years, and my team-mates as well - Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and even Richie Porte.

"It just makes the whole environment much more relaxed. You can save energy on stuff like that."

With neither form nor a sense of belonging a worry, Kennaugh can focus all of his Tour efforts on excelling on the road and while aiding Froome's cause is his main priority, he also has one eye on the prospect of wearing the best young rider's white jersey.

Hilly days on stages two and three present a significant obstacle, but Team Sky will be among the favourites to win stage four's team time trial and a good time could put Kennaugh into white.

"The white jersey is something which could maybe come as a bonus," he added. "If I can wear the white jersey for a few days, I would be super happy."

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