Kennaugh happy to conclude testing season

Manxman hoping for more opportunities with Team Sky in 2016

Pete Kennaugh pinned a number onto his white Britain national champion for the last time this season at Il Lombardia, happy to finally end his 2015 season after a series of highs and lows.

The 26-year-old Manxman started his season at the Tour Down Under but has raced for just 60 days due to injury in March, training for the Tour de France and most recently the more enjoyable but arguably equally tiring experience of becoming a father. Kennaugh also decided his future during the season, opting to stay with Team Sky after reportedly considering an offer from BMC to ride with Richie Porte, who has left Team Sky for the British squad.

"I'm looking forward to ending a long season. After the Tour of Britain I became a father for the first time and that was a special experience. I've been pretty tired ever since then but it's a great moment in my life," Kennaugh told Cyclingnews. "I've a step-son but having a baby is a whole new experience."

Kennaugh seemed happy to hang up his bike for a while and begin to recover from the fatigue of the season.

"It's been quite an up and down year for me," he admitted. "In my opinion I got off to a really good start but then getting injured in March and having three weeks off set me back and it's felt I've been playing catch up ever since then. Obviously I had a good stage win at the Criterium du Dauphine and then won the (British) nationals too, which was great.

"It was good to secure a place in the Tour de France team but I was actually a bit disappointed with my Tour. I just never felt right. I always felt under par and tired. That ended up with me becoming ill. From that point there was no way back and I didn't start stage 16.

"I didn't race for a while after that but worked to retain a bit of fitness for the Tour of Britain. It was the first time I've ridden it in my career and I really enjoyed it. I'm not sure if it was because it was in Britain or because it was a new race for me but it was refreshing for me."

Thinking of the Rio Olympics

Kennaugh has been with Team Sky since the creation of the British team in 2010. He is part of the team's British core and his back-to-back national titles have strengthened his links to the squad. However he was tempted to change teams for 2016 and considered several offers, including an interesting offer from BMC. However he opted to stay with Team Sky and hopes to have more freedom in 2016 and fewer problems as he targets a place in Great Britain's squad for the Rio Olympic road race.

"In the end it was the best option for me and the best way for me to improve as a rider in the next two years," he said of his decision to stay with Team Sky.

"Maybe next year we'll change the direction of my race programme a little. It'd be great to have a few more opportunities for myself and 'race' a little bit more. What races that will entail I'm not sure yet but I'll sit down in October with Dave Brailsford and Rod Ellingworth and have a good look at my programme. It could involve riding the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta.

"I'd love to ride the Olympic Games road race. It's on a hard course and so riding the Tour de France is risky, you could come out of it wrecked. I think riding the Giro d'Italia, recovering, resting and racing again could be way to control the form and be a good direction for me to take for 2016."

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