Kennaugh beats Cavendish to retain road title
Published 29/06/2015 | 02:30
Peter Kennaugh successfully retained the British Championships road race title yesterday after fighting off the challenge of fellow Manxman Mark Cavendish in Lincoln.
Meanwhile, Lizzie Armitstead won the women's title for a third time with a breakaway victory before Kennaugh prevailed in the men's race.
Cavendish, the 2013 winner in Glasgow, was one of the key protagonists for the 200.5km race, which featured nine ascents of the steep Michaelgate climb to the finish between Lincoln Cathedral and the castle.
On paper, the uphill finish and having three Team Sky riders in competition counted against Cavendish, the 25-time Tour de France stage winner who proved he is far more than a sprinter in a gutsy performance.
But he broke away with Kennaugh, only for the defending champion to claim victory on the final climb.
Ian Stannard was third ahead of Luke Rowe.
Kennaugh is the first rider to successfully defend the British men's title since Roger Hammond in 2003 and 2004.
"From three kilometres in, when we split it in the crosswinds, it was on all day, you were constantly on the pedals without realising," said Kennaugh.
"I'm over the moon just to stay in white with my white bike and all my white accessories. It means a lot to me."
Kennaugh also paid tribute to Cavendish.
"I think it goes to show he's not all about being a sprinter and getting dropped off at 200 metres to go. I'm sure he'll have the jersey again another year," he said.
Elsewhere, Nicolas Roche and Philip Deignan will learn if they are to be part of Team Sky's line-up for the Tour de France when it is announced later today.