Commonwealth Games: Kennaugh happy with silver in points race

Peter Kennaugh (Isle of Man) had mixed emotions after taking silver in the men's points race at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday night after he saw two of his teammates disqualified.

When the medal ceremony began the track had emptied a little, as fans headed for home after the final event. However Kennaugh was still able to whip the crowd up as he stepped onto the wooden plinth to take his medal. The Manxman had some time to reflect on things as he stood on the podium and saw the positive side of things when he spoke to the media afterwards.

“I’ve only been on the track for three days, so I can’t exactly grumble at that. It’s a medal at the end of the day,” Kennaugh told the press in the track centre.

Kennaugh often competes for the Great Britain team. However the Commonwealth Games gives him a rare chance to ride for the Isle of Man. His silver is the first medal for the small island nation, giving the medal an extra significance for him.

“It’s pretty special, in a different way. The Olympics on a global scale is obviously massive. The Commonwealth Games for the Isle of Man is probably a bigger deal than the Olympics,” he explained.

“To do it for the Isle of Man is incredible. Without doubt, I would say that it means more to some of the staff than it does to me, because they are so passionately Manx. I’m just happy I can do it for them.”

Kennaugh had calmed down after outbursts to the commissaires and New Zealand coaches immediately after the race but he still had some choice words to say about both. The Team Sky rider was disappointed with the commissaires’ disqualification of his teammates Joe Kelly and Mark Christian and inaction against, what he believed, were infractions from the New Zealand team.

“Some of the stuff that the Kiwis were doing and they didn’t even say anything. I don’t know, I think the commissaires just get caught up in it all and get a little power obsessed at times and just get their flags out,” he said in his usual forthright manner. “That guy, I don’t know if you saw it on the screen, but he had his arm out blocking Joe from coming by, what is that about? There’s no etiquette involved there."

“We’re all professionals here and we’ve got to race against each other and we should all respect each other. To be honest Shane Archbold, it was very disappointing the way he rode.”

Frustration with Team Sky

Kennaugh’s silver medal comes after a run of good form this summer. He took the British national road race title in June and then overall victory at the Tour of Austria – his first race in the distinctive national champion's jersey. However he missed selection for the Team Sky Tour de France team. When asked if he had proved himself with his recent run of success, there was evident annoyance in his response.

“I feel like I’ve already done that and I don’t feel like I need to prove myself anymore. It’s getting a bit frustrating when the team says stuff like you’ve got to go and prove yourself. They know what I can do, I know what I can do. It’s like, put some faith in your riders. I’m just going to race my bike and ride it," said Kennaugh. “It’s been a really good run the last couple of months and I’ve been really relaxed and enjoying it along the way.”

For now, the immediate goal for Kennaugh will be next Sunday road race at the Commonwealth Games.

The 25-year-old will return home to the Isle of Man on Monday, before returning to Glasgow on Saturday. He will be the team leader for the Isle of Man after Mark Cavendish suffered a dislocated AC joint at the Tour de France.

The flat course doesn’t favour Kennaugh, but you can be sure that’s not going to deter him.

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