Kennaugh has been replaced by Chris Sutton, with the race starting Friday in Belfast.
"The Giro is one of my favourite races and I would have loved to have ridden it again," said Kennaugh on the team's website. "A lot of my friends and family were planning on coming over to Ireland for the start, and I was looking forward to racing back in Italy. This bug laid me low though and it was a tough one to shake off."
Kennaugh had ridden last week's Tour of Romandie, in which Chris Froome retained his overall title. However Kennaugh had missed a vital block of training.
Head of Performance Operations Rod Ellingworth said: "Pete was struggling before Liège-Bastogne-Liège so we told him to take time off until he was fully recovered.
"Although he has since recovered, the time he spent off the bike meant he hasn't been able to fully recuperate and regain the condition needed to see him through a three-week Grand Tour. Instead, we’ll work with Pete to get him back to full fitness in the weeks to come."
Kennaugh was an important part of Team Sky's winning ride in last year's Tour de France and if healthy should be in the running for a Tour spot this July.
Only three days remain until the first Grand Tour of the year kicks off in Belfast. The Giro d'Italia is certainly one for the climbers this season, with a whole host of summit finishes and climbs that will strike fear into most.
Almost 3,500 kilometres separate the contenders from the overall victory. The winner of the race will have to master the ascents, but the 90.4 kilometres of time trials will have a big role to play. This year’s field consists of some of the strongest climbers in the peloton and we should be in for one hell of a fight for the maglia rosa.
In this video, Cyclingnews takes a look at the men who could finish on the podium this year. Nairo Quintana has his first opportunity to front the Movistar team at a Grand Tour. Despite his inexperience, the young Colombian is the hot favourite for victory once the race reaches Trieste.
Quintana won’t have it all his own way and there will be plenty of riders looking to cause an upset, including Joaquim Rodríguez, Dan Martin, Cadel Evans and Rigoberto Uran.
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Monarch Mountain will test the climbers in Colorado
The organisers of the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado announced the details of the 2014 race route today, revealing that the first mountaintop stage finish will be on stage 3. The race begins on August 18 in Aspen and ends August 24 in Denver.
The stage route heads east from Gunnison to the Monarch Pass after 56km, giving riders the opportunity to scout the finish before descending the eastern slopes, doing two local laps through Salida before heading back up the nearly 32km of climbing to the Monarch Mountain Ski Area, at almost 3300m in elevation,
"Every year we strive to create a route that will challenge the riders in new ways, give spectators more opportunities to see some of the toughest athletes in the world and highlight new parts of Colorado," said race CEO Shawn Hunter. "The mountains are such a big part of the USA Pro Challenge and we always have incredibly enthusiastic fans packing the summits, so we're adding a new test for the riders this year, and a new viewing opportunity for our dedicated fans, with the Stage 3 mountaintop finish on Monarch Mountain."
The race begins in Aspen with a short but challenging stage consisting of three laps of 35km each, then heads from Aspen to Crested Butte, taking in the Kebler Pass at over 3000m, rather than Bachelor Gulch which featured last year. The route also heads over McClure Pass at 2650m, and includes some dirt sections on Gunnison County Road 12, a technical descent to Crested Butte and a steep finishing climb.
It will serve as a warm-up for the Monarch Mountain stage, which will be the first opportunity for the overall contenders to open up the time gaps.
A circuit race in Colorado Springs, home to USA Cycling and USADA, follows, with four laps of a 25km loop including the climbs through Garden of hte Gods, Mesa Road and Ridge Road, which kicks up to a gradient of 17 per cent.
Astana have become the latest team to suffer visa problems ahead of the Giro d'Italia. The Kazakh team have had to withdraw Maxim Iglinskiy and Alexey Lutsenko from their line-up after they failed to secure visas in time for the start in Belfast.
"Maxim Iglinskiy and Alexey Lutsenko submitted passports for UK visas to the British embassy in Paris on April 17. They received no response after two weeks, nor were their passports returned – leaving them off the roster and then stranding them in Nice, away from their families in Kazakhstan," Astana general manager Alexandr Vinokourov said in a team press release.
The two riders will be replaced by Borut Bozic and Janez Brajkovic. Bozic hasn't raced since Amstel Gold on April 20, after riding a full cobbled classics campaign. Brajkovic recently abandoned on stage one of the Tour de Romandie after injuring his knee in the prologue. They will be riding in support of Michele Scarponi. Andrey Zeits is the remaining Kazakh rider in the team, after applying through a different Embassy.
"We are disappointed to leave two of Kazakhstan’s brightest cycling federation riders off the World Tour Giro roster, and find silence and the non-response of the British Embassy in Paris such a contrast to the efficient work done by their colleagues in Germany for our processed and registered Kazakh rider Andrey Zeits."
Astana aren't the only team to have had issues with getting visas for the opening three days of the corsa rosa. Nicolas Roche recently reported in his blog in the Irish Independent that his team-mates Nikolay Trusov, Ivan Rovny and Edward Beltran are also without visas.
North American pros continued to celebrate strong performances in both the US and overseas events last week. The USA Cycling’s National Racing Calendar (NRC) was updated following round four at Tour of the Gila and the USA Crits Speed Week wrapped up on Saturday. In addition, many of the continent’s top-level riders are racing overseas stage races, preparing for bigger races down the line. Check out a few of the highlights from the peloton.
McCabe and Abbott top NRC standings after Tour of the Gila
Travis McCabe (Team SmartStop) held onto his overall lead of the National Racing Calendar (NRC) following the fourth round at the Tour of the Gila held from April 30 to May 4 in Silver City, New Mexico. Carter Jones (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) won the overall title by two seconds ahead of Gregory Obando Brenes (Jamis-Hagens Berman) and four seconds to Rob Britton (Team SmartStop).
Mara Abbott (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) moved into the overall lead of the NRC series after securing the elite women’s title at the Tour of the Gila. She won the stage race by more than four minutes ahead of Flavia Oliveira (FCS|Zngine p/b Mr. Restore) and Abigail Mickey (Twenty19 Pro Cycling).
Holloway wins USA Crits Speed Week and Dana Point Grand Prix
Daniel Holloway wrapped up a successful week of racing with a series of wins on both the east coast and the west coast. The sprinter won the overall title at the USA Crits Speed Week after winning the five criteriums: Athens Twilight , Historic Roswell, Downtown Walterboro,...
Michele Scarponi (Astana) starts the Giro d’Italia as one of the few Italian hopefuls for the podium. Scarponi will have the number one on his back, after teammate - and defending champion – Vincenzo Nibali opted to ride the Tour de France this season.
For the Italian, it’s a chance to lead the team before he turns domestique for Nibali at the Tour. Scarponi is looking to prove himself at his home race. “I will try to give it everything in order to get a good result,” he told Italian radio Ulitmo Chilometro
"The Giro d’Italia is the race that I like the most, the one in which I can express myself better. It’s hard to conquer, there are many riders who can win it on paper and definitely bigger favourites than me, but I'm prepared.”
Scarponi is in his first season with the Astana team, after failing to secure a contract at Lampre-Merida. Unlike his previous squad, Astana’s main goal this season is the Tour de France in July. This means that Scarponi will have to work for his compatriot Nibali, after taking on the Giro. With the Giro being as tough as it is, it could be difficult for Scarponi to be on top for both races.
The 34-year-old is the winner of the 2011 Giro d’Italia, after Alberto Contador’s suspension handed it to him. He has finished second in the last two editions of the race. He comes into the race off the back of a training camp on Tenerife’s Mount Teide and a solid top 10 performance at the Giro del Trentino, leaving him confident about his chances.
"I had a good feelings, even if I was not brilliant I was not too far from the best. The past 10 days I decided to spend with the...
Stage win and GC goals for German Pro-Continental outfit
With a stage win on last year's queen stage at the Tour of California, NetApp-Endura return to the American stage race with fond memories and the desire to repeat its success when the 2.HC race starts on May 11. The will have do without the services of 26-year-old Czech Leopold König who won the stage last year to Mount Diablo who misses the race due to injury which frees Tiago Machado to lead the team in its aspirations for a top ten finish.
"The knee problem that forced Leo to take a long break from racing in March and April appeared again after Trentino. That's why he couldn't race at Liège either. The full recovery of our young riders is always the most important thing for us. Therefore, we're not letting him race until he is completely free of pain," NetApp – Endura Team Manager Ralph Denk said of the team's decision.
"The fact that this is coinciding now with California is especially painful for us. With a stage finish slated for Mount Diablo once again, we were really motivated to repeat our success from last year at the same spot."
Machado, who spent several seasons with the RadioShack team racing in the WorldTour, recently finished sixth overall at the Giro del Trentino and Denk is confident his Portuguse rider will excel at the race
"In his current condition, Tiago is more than just a mere replacement for Leo. He's been riding incredibly well over the past four weeks, demonstrating his super form. He's traveling to California with top results in his bag, namely from the Critérium International and the Giro del Trentino," Denk said. "Tiago is...
In 2002 Chavanel claimed the first of his two overall victories at the race which kick started his career and this year is the ten year anniversary of his last triumph at the 2.HC race. Chavanel will be one of five former winners to line up for the four day race, joining Arnaud Demare (2013), Jimmy Engoulvent (2012), Mathieu Ladagnous (2007) and Pierrick Fédrigo (2005) and will be hoping to continue his preparation for his season goal, the Tour de France.
"I am looking forward to Dunkirk. My form is impeccable. For the past eight or nine days, I have had excellent feelings in my legs. That helps me look forward to being back in serious competition. Training is one thing, but nothing is like racing," Chavanel said.
"Finally I'll be able to put on a race number and take things day by day. Definitely this is a tough race because there is a time trial, but there is also a stage where we have to negotiate pavé that are situated five kilometers from the finish, and we have to tackle them four times during the stage.
"That means that the 4 Days of Dunkirk will be the first in a series of races that I will ride with the intention of building for the greatest goal of the season, which is the Tour de France."
IAM Cycling for Four Days of Dunkirk: Marcel Aregger, Sylvain Chavanel, Kevyn Ista, Dominic Klemme, Roger Kluge, Gustav Larsson,...