Young Briton to make his grand tour debut
Team Sky has confirmed that Pete Kennaugh will replace Belgian Serge Pauwels in their line-up for the Giro d'Italia.
Pauwels vented his frustration in Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, and according to Sporza admitted he is dissatisfied with the team and revealed that his contract expires at the end of this season.
Pauwels claimed he had planned his season around riding the Giro d'Italia, just as he last did in 2009 for Cervelo TestTeam. “I started the season knowing that I should prepare for the Giro, which I did. I copied my preparation from 2009, when I rode a good Giro. And I got to my ideal weight. Unfortunately I have now been told that I have to give up my place,” he said.
The schedule change left him unsure of the rest of the season and of his future. "The Tour is not an option. Competition within the team is too great. I hope that I can be at the Vuelta."
"Or am I on a dead track at Sky? I'm dissatisfied and my contract expires. But I don't want to burn my bridges. I hope to make something of my season."
Kennaugh excited about Giro debut
Pete Kennaugh is only 21 but is in his second season with Team Sky and insisted he is ready to ride his first grand tour. He is widely considered as a future grand tour contender and finished third overall in the 2009 GiroBio stage race while racing in Italy with the Great Britain Academy programme.
The Manxman focused on the track in the first part of this season and was part of the Great Britain team in the team pursuit that won the bronze medal at the World Championships. He was included in the long-list of 12 riders pre-selected for the Giro d’Italia but was only recently told he would be part of the final starting nine riders. He is based in Quarrata in Tuscany and has been training with Mark Cavendish to get ready for the Giro.
“I was included in the Giro team as a reserve but I hoped to get a ride. I can’t wait to get racing now,” he told Cyclingnews.
“I haven’t raced a lot and so I’m fresh. But I’ve been working hard, doing long rides and I've been living like a monk in the last few weeks. I can feel I’ve got my road legs just in time for the Giro.”
“The goal is to try and finish it but we’ll see how I’m going after 10 or 12 days. I know it’s going to be hard and I’m going to be in the gruppetto some days and really suffer but I feel a lot stronger than I did last year and I’m sure riding the Giro will be a great experience and help me develop. It’ll also set me up for the national championships and the rest of the season, for races like the Tour of Austria and the Tour of Poland.”
“The route kind of suits me this year because there are perhaps more chances to get in breaks and we can do things in some of the sprints where there’s a climb near the finish too.”
Team Sky will formally announce the final nine-rider line-up for the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday in Italy. Also expected in the squad are Dario David Cioni, Morris Possoni, Davide Appollonio, Thomas Lövkvist, Michael Barry, Kjell Carlstrom, Lars Petter Nordhaug and Russell Downing.
Possoni has been linked to the on-going Padova investigation into Dr Michele Ferrari but he rode the Tour de Romandie that ended on Sunday and Team Sky has decided to let him race until the investigation is completed and the full facts are known.