Saturday 24 August 2019

Former Olympic gold medallist Peter Kennaugh to take break from sport due to ongoing mental health issues

Peter Kennaugh
Peter Kennaugh

Ian Parker

Former British champion and Olympic gold medallist Peter Kennaugh has announced he will take an indefinite break from professional cycling due to ongoing mental health issues.

The 29-year-old is in the second year of a two-year contract with German WorldTour team Bora-Hansgrohe, who have supported his decision.

"I would like to thank everyone at Bora-Hansgrohe for their support and understanding to allow me to recover away from the sport. I wish the team the best of luck for the rest of the season," Kennaugh said in a statement.

The Manxman had said late last year he hoped to race the Giro d'Italia in May, but has not competed since completing the UAE Tour at the beginning of March.

Last year, he took a break between January and April, saying he had struggled to feel right on the bike.

In a longer post on Instagram, Kennaugh said: "The time has come where it is now necessary to become one with my decision to take a break from professional cycling.

"After many years of struggling on and off the bike, I have made this decision, not only for me, but also for my family.

"I need to concentrate on the person that I want to be going forward and to re-discover happiness, motivation and enthusiasm in my day to day life.

"I can't thank enough, the people who have helped me through the last couple of years, especially the last couple of weeks. Without having to mention any names, these people will know who they are...I am very thankful for their love and support.

"With hope, I am excited for the years to come and the fresh challenges that lie ahead in and out of sport."

Kennaugh was part of Britain's gold-medal winning team pursuit squad on the track at the London 2012 Olympics, and was Britain's road race champion in 2014 and 2015.

He rode for Team Sky between 2010 and 2017 before joining Bora-Hansgrohe in 2018.

"We thank Peter for his contribution to the team and we wish him well in his recovery process," Kennaugh's team manager Ralph Denk said.

"We look forward to him making a full return to professional cycling in the future."

PA Media

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