Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) bounced back from the disappointment of missing out on riding the Tour de France with a solo attack and victory on the Tour of Austria's first stage. Kennaugh attacked on the final climb of the 182km stage to record his first victory in the British national champion's jersey he won last weekend.
Kennaugh launched his attack inside the last two kilometres and surged clear to take the win by 11 seconds ahead of Olivier Zaugg (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Javier Moreno (Movistar) who rounded out the podium places.
"I felt good and all the team really committed," Kennaugh told TeamSky.com after the race. "Josh (Edmondson) rode great on the penultimate climb – that's where we really set the tempo. Ian Boswell and Christian Knees were awesome as well. I was just happy I could finish it off. It's a good start and it makes up for a bit of disappointment for missing out on the Tour (de France).
"I had good legs at the nationals and I didn't do much during the week. I just took it easy and spent time with my family so I wasn't sure how my legs would be. I knew I couldn't lose too much in a week."
The 25-year-old made his Tour debut last year as helped Chris Froome win the overall and was set to lead the team at the Giro d'Italia in May having enjoyed a good March with a stage win setting up overall victory at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali before being forced to withdraw from the race with illness.
With seven stages to come, Kennaugh is optimistic about holding onto the yellow jersey and record a second overall victory in 2014.
"Today we only had relatively short climbs which I know I'm pretty good at but I know it could be different once we get onto the longer climbs in the mountains," he said having also pickled a four second time bonus at the finish line. "Hopefully I'll defend the jersey as best I can.
"There's a 24km time trial to come so I'll try to follow, save energy and see how my legs are on the mountains. If they carry on like they felt today it would be nice to podium or possibly win it."
The team's director sportif for the race, Dan Frost, is keen to defend the jersey after good work by the whole team, including birthday boy Josh Edmondson.
"It was Pete's first race in his new jersey and what a way to spend it," Frost said. "There was some good morale there and he really rode well and attacked hard at the end. Now we have to defend the leader's jersey.
"It was great teamwork from the guys all day. The whole team worked really hard together today. It was great to see and everyone contributed to that victory. It was also nice as it is Josh's birthday today and we said this morning that a win for the team would be a nice present."
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